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I/I  E»  R.AR.Y 













(Written  by  Himself) 







NEW  YORK:  W.  H.  STELLE  &  CO. 

Entered  according  to  act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1877,  by 

In  the  office  of  the  Librarian  of  Congress,  at  Washington. 

BBOKTOLD  *  Co.,  BINDEM,  press  of  chas.  B.  Woodward  &  Co. 

S15  Pine  Street.  915  ,%  917  N>  6th  st.  gt<  Louis. 


L  5  /  >r>  <o_ 





WAS  requested  by  John  Doyle  Lee,  after  he  had  been  sen- 
tenced to  be  shot  for  the  part  he  took  in  the  commission  of 
the  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre,  to  publish  an  account  of  his 
life  and  confessions,  in  order  to  inform  the  world  how  it  was 
that  he  had  acted  as  he  had,  and  why  he  was  made  a  scape -goat 
by  the  Mormon  Church.  I  accepted  the  trust,  and,  in  giving 
publicity  to  the  facts  now,  for  the  first  time  fully  brought  to 
light,  I  am  only  performing  what  I  believe  to  be  a  duty — to 
Mm,  and  to  the  public. 

The  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre  stands  without  a  parallel 
amongst  the  crimes  that  stain  the  pages  of  American  history. 
It  was  a  crime  committed  -without  cause  or  justification  of  any 
kind  to  relieve  it  of  its  fearful  character.  Over  one  hundred 
and  twenty  men,  women  and  children  were  surrounded  by  In- 
dians, and  more  cruel  whites,  and  kept  under  constant  fire, 
from  hundreds  of  unerring  rifles,  for  five  days  and  nights,  dur- 
ing all  of  which  time,  the  emigrants  were  famishing  for  water. 
When  nearly  exhausted  from  fatigue  and  thirst,  they  were  ap- 
proached by  white  men,  with  a  flag  of  truce,  and  induced  to 
surrender  their  arms,  under  the  most  solemn  promises  of  pro- 
tection. They  were  then  murdered  in  cold  blood,  and  left  nude 
and  mangled  upon  the  plain.  All  this  was  done  by  a  band  of 
fanatics,  who  had  no  cause  of  complaint  against  the  emigrants, 
except  that  the  authorities  of  the  Mormon  Church  had  decided 
that  all  the  emigrants  who  were  old  enough  to  talk,  should  die — 
revenge  for  alleged  insults  to  Brigham  Young,  and  the  booty  of 
the  plundered  train  being  the  inciting  causes  of  the  massacre. 

John  D.  Lee  was  one,  and  only  one  of  fifty-eight  Mormons, 
who  there  carried  out  the  orders  of  the  Mormon  Priesthood. 
cv#  He  has  died  for  his  crimes — shall  the  others  escape? 

The  entire  history  of  this  atrocious  crime  is  given  in  the  con- 
fession. How  it  was  done,  and  why  it  was  the  wish  of  the  Mor- 



same  place,  and  to  John  D.  Lee's  letter  to  Mr.  Bishop,  on  page 
34  of  this  book. 

Lee  wrote  his  Life  and  Confessions  in  prison,  after  his  sen- 
tence to  death,  and  subsequent  to  his  execution  his  manuscripts 
were  copied  and  prepared  for  publication  by  Mr.  Bishop.  They 
were  at  no  time  out  of  his  possession  or  from  under  his  imme- 
diate control,  until  they  were  delivered  to  the  express  company 
on  the  17th  day  of  May,  1877,  to  be  forwarded  to  us. 

The  Mormon  leaders  were  so  greatly  alarmed  at  the  prospect 
of  the  publication  of  Lee's  writings,  and  the  consequent  reve- 
lation of  their  secrets  and  crimes,  that  they  sent  their  "Blood 
Atoners"  to  threaten  the  life  of  Mr.  Bishop,  and,  if  possible, 
compel  him  to  give  up  the  manuscripts.  The  danger  was  so 
great  that  he  was  compelled  to  have  his  office  guarded  while  en- 
gaged in  copying  the  papers ;  and  when  they  were  ready  to  be 
forwarded  to  the  publishers,  the  Wells,  Fargo  &  Co.  Express 
refused  to  receive  them  until  they  were  furnished  with  an  armed 
guard  to  protect  them  until  they  were  beyond  the  reach  of  the 

The  fears  of  the  Mormon  dignitaries  were  well  founded,  for 
Lee's  revelations  of  crimes  committed  by  them  are  of  the  most 
startling  character.  THE  PUBLISHEBS. 


TOHN  D.  LEE'S  prominent  connection  with  the  Mormon 
^  Church,  and  the  almost  universal  desire  on  the  part  of  the 
pubh'c  to  know  the  secrets  that  he  could  tell,  gave  a  peculiar 
interest  to  the  life  and  doings  of  this  man,  and  led  to  a  general 
inquiry  for  his  Autobiography  and  Confessions.  This  has  caused 
the  publication  of  several  pretended  "Lives  and  Confessions  of 
John  D.  Lee,"  the  materials  for  which  were  collected  from 
fragmentary  newspaper  reports,  and  advertised  by  certain  un- 
scrupulous publishers  as  genuine.  We  therefore  deem  it  but 
simple  justice  to  those  who  may  read  this  book,  to  state  how  we 
obtained  the  true  and  only  LIFE  AND  CONFESSIONS  OF  JOHN 
D.  LEE. 

It  was  stated  at  the  time  of  Lee's  execution  that  he  had  left 
the  manuscripts  of  his  Life  and  Confessions  with  his  confiden- 
tial attorney  for  publication.  We  at  once  wrote  to  Col.  Wm. 
Nelson,  U.  S.  Marshal  of  Utah  Territory,  requesting  him  to 
give  us  the  address  of  Lee's  attorney.  He  replied  promptly, 
stating  that  Mr.  W.  W.  Bishop,  of  Pioche,  Nevada,  was  the 
man.  We  immediately  entered  into  correspondence  with  Mr. 
Bishop,  and  made  a  contract  with  him  for  the  publication  of  the 

In  proof  of  the  fact  that  this  is  the  genuine  and  only  genuine 
Life  and  Confessions  of  John  D.  Lee,  we  refer  to  Col.  Wm. 
Nelson,  U.  S.  Marshal  Utah  Territory;  Hon.  Wm.  Stokes, 
Deputy  U.  S.  Marshal,  U.  T. ;  Hon.  Sumner  Howard,  U.  S. 
Attorney,  U.  T. ;  the  editor  of  the  Salt  Lake,  Tribune;  Col. 
Geo.  M.  Sabin,  Pioche,  Nevada ;  Mr.  Wm.  W.  Bishop,  of  the 

viii  PEE  FACE. 

mons  that  it  should  be  done,  all  is  fully  stated.  As  one  of  the 
attorneys  for  John  D.  Lee,  I  did  all  that  I  could  to  save  his  life. 
My  associates  were,  and  are  able  meu  and  fine  lawyers,  but  fact 
and  fate  united  to  turn  the  verdict  against  us.  The  history  of 
the  first  and  second  trials  is  familiar  to  most  of  the  American 
people ;  therefore,  I  will  not  describe  them  here,  any  more  than 
to  say,  Mormonism  prevented  conviction  at  the  first  trial,  and 
at  the  second  trial  Mormonism  insured  conviction. 

After  Brigham  Young  and  his  worshipers  had  deserted  Lee, 
and  marked  him  as  the  victim  that  should  suffer  to  save  the 
Church  from  destruction,  on  account  of  the  crimes  it  had  or- 
dered ;  after  all  chances  of  escape  had  vanished,  and  death  was 
certain  as  the  result  of  the  life-long  service  he  had  rendered  the 
Church,  the  better  nature  of  Lee  overcame  his  superstition  and 
fanaticism,  and  he  gave  to  me  the  history  of  his  life,  and  his  con- 
fession of  the  facts  connected  with  the  massacre,  and  wished  me 
to  have  the  same  published.  Why  he  refused  to  confess  at  au 
earlier  day,  and  save  his  own  life  by  placing  the  guilt  where  it 
of  right  belonged,  is  a  question  which  is  answered  by  the  state- 
ment, that  he  was  still  a  slave  to  his  Endowment  and  Danite 
oaths,  and  trusted  until  too  late  to  the  promises  of  protection 
made  to  him  by  Brigham  Young.  John  D.  Lee  was  a  fanatic, 
and  as  such,  believed  in  the  Mormon  Church,  and  aided  in  car- 
rying out  the  orders  of  that  Church.  I  believe  it  is  my  duty  to 
publish  this  work,  to  show  mankind  the  fruits  resulting  from 
obedience  to  Mormon  leaders,  and  to  show  that  Mormonism  was 
as  certainly  the  cause  of  the  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre,  as  it 
is  that  fanaticism  has  been  the  mother  of  crime  in  all  ages  of 
the  world.  I  also  wish  the  American  people  to  read  the  facts, 
as  they  are  told  by  a  mistaken  and  fanatical  follower  of  the  Mor- 
mon doctrines,  yet,  one  who  was  a  brave  man,  and,  according 
to  his  ideas  and  teaching,  a  good  man ;  who  did  not  believe  he 
was  doing  wrong  when  obeying  the  commands  of  the  Mormon 
Priesthood.  I  wish  the  American  people  to  read  this  work, 
and  then  say,  if  they  can,  what  should  be  the  fate  of  those  who 
caused  the  crime  to  be  committed.  The  following  pages  contain 
simply  true  copies  of  material,  furnished  me  by  John  D.  Lee, 
for  the  purpose  of  being  published  ;  all  of  which  was  written  by 
him  while  in  prison,  and  after  the  jury  had  returned  its  verdict 
of  guilty. 

I  have  no  excuses  to  offer  for  publishing  the  work  just  as  it 


is.  It  is  what  it  purports  to  be,  a  full  history  of  the  Mountain 
Meadows  Massacre,  and  also  a  sketch  of  the  life  of  John  D.  Lee, 
embracing  a  revelation  of  the  secret  history  of  Mormonisin,  from 
its  inception  down  to  the  death  of  Lee ;  with  a  correct  copy  of 
his  confession  as  given  to  me  for  publication.  If  any  feel  in- 
jured by  the  facts,  I  cannot  help  it.  If  this  publication  shall,  in 
any  degree,  aid  in  securing  the  much-needed  legislation,  de- 
manded by  the  American  citizens  of  Utah,  from  the  National 
Government,  so  that  Church  criminals,  as  well  as  Gentiles,  can 
be  convicted  in  Utah,  I  shall  feel  that  I  have  been  paid  well  for 
all  the  vexations  I  have  endured  in  the  land  of  the  Saints, 
where  they  murder  men,  women  and  children  for  the  glory  of 
God,  and  the  upbuilding  of  His  kingdom. 

I  also  believe  this  publication  will  be  an  advantage  to  the  large 
number  of  naturally  good  and  honest  people,  who  inhabit  Utah, 
who  joined  the  Church,  and  moved  to  Utah,  believing  it  their 
Christian  duty  to  do  so.  To  that  class  of  people  I  am  indebted 
for  many  favors,  and  wish  them  future  prosperity. 

Confidential  Att'y  of  John  D.  Lee. 

PIOCHE,  NEVADA,  May  17,  1877. 


PUBLISHERS'  PREFACE.     ...          .6 


INTRODUCTORY.  .  .  .  .  .  15 



Early  Life  of  Lee — Death  of  his  Mother — Hardships  and  Trials — 
Becomes  a  Mail  Carrier  in  the  Wilds  of  Missouri  at  an 
Early  Age — Is  a  Stage  Driver — Abandons  the  business — Re- 
flections upon  the  condition  of  the  Country.  .  86 



Remains  on  his  Uncle's  Farm — Volunteers  in  the  Black  Hawk 
War — Goes  to  St.  Louis — Engages  as  Fireman  on  a  Steamer 
— Cholera  Experience — Finds  a  Friend — Goes  to  Galena 
and  enters  a  Store  as  Clerk — Adventures  with  the  Miners- 
Anecdote  of  Ulysses  Grant — Lee  Marries  Agathe  Ann 
Woolsey.  ......  .43 



In  1836  Lee  first  hears  the  Mormon  Doctrine  Preached — Em- 
braces the  Doctrine  of  Mormonism — Sells  out  and  Removes 
his  Family  to  Far  West,  Mo. — Is  Baptized  and  Joins  the 
Church — Fight  at  Gallatin,  at  the  Polls — The  People  Conse- 
crate their  Property  to  God.  .  .  •  .60 



The  Saints  Decline  to  give  up  their  Property  to  the  Church — 
Troubles  Between  the  Saints  and  Gentiles — Companies  of 
Armed  Men  are  formed  for  Driving  Out  the  Mormons — A 


Providential  Warning — Conflicts  between  the  Saints  and 
Gentiles.  .......       (Mi 



Death  of '  Capt.  Patton — Rebuke  of  the  Prophet — Description  of 
the  Prophet — Continued  Troubles  with  the  Gentiles — Mas- 
sacre at  Haughn's  Mill — Miraculous  Cure  of  Isaac  Laney, 
in  Answer  to  Prayer — Cowardice  of  Col.  Hinkle — Surrender 
of  Joseph  Smith,  the  Prophet — The  Saints  Surrender  and 
are  Disarmed — Terms  of  the  Surrender.  .  .  •  74 



Account  of  the  Surrender  Continued — Lee  refuses  to  Abandon  his 
Faith — Returns  to  his  Home — Finds  his  House  Burned  and 
Property  Destroyed — Temple  Block — Garden  of  Eden — Site 
of  the  Altar  Built  by  Adam — Suffering  during  the  Winter — 
Lee  is  ordained  to  the  Priesthood— Holy  Patriarchal 
Blessing.  .......  86 



Lee  returns  to  Illinois — Goes  on  a  Mission  to  Preach — Lively 
Experiences  by  the  way — Is  Strengthened  of  God  and  Re- 
sists Temptation  —  False  Doctrines  taught  by  Brigham 
Young,  and  their  Degrading  Tendencies — Preaches  in  Ten- 
nessee— Beholds  a  Vision  which  is  realized — Mission  is 
Successful  —  Organizes  Branch  Churches  —  Returns  to 
Illinois.  .......  96 



Spends  the  Winter  at  Home — Foundation  of  the  Temple  laid  at 
Nauvoo — Teachings  of  the  Prophet — Lee  builds  a  Home  in 
Nauvoo — Goes  on  a  Mission  in  1841 — Resumes  his  Labors 
in  Tennessee— Makes  many  Converts— Holds  a  Series  of 
Discussions.  .......  109 



Lee  holds  a  Discussion  with  Parson  Hall — Identity  of  the  Ten 
Tribes  of  Israel  with  the  American  Indians  shown — Divine 
Origin  of  the  Book  of  Mormon — Lee  holds  another  and 
final  Discussion  with  Rev.  Cantrell — Many  Converts  are 
Baptized  and  added  to  the  Church.  ....  118 



He  goes  to  Jackson  County  and  holds  a  public  Discussion — Won- 
derful Manifestation  of  Divine  Power — Lee  rebukes  Evil 
Spirits  and  they  are  still — Casts  out  Devils  from  Mark 
Young — Returns  to  Nauvoo — Visits  friends — Condition  of 
Zion — Denunciation  of  Brigham  Young.  .  .  126 



Lee  returns  to  Tennessee  to  Preach — Is  kindly  received — Goes  to 
Nashville — Preaches  in  the  Country — Is  assailed  by  a  Mob 
—Baptizes  the  Wife  of  Col.  Tucker— The  Colonel  Hunts 
him  with  a  Loaded  Rifle — Escapes  from  the  County  to 
avoid  Arrest — Returns  to  Nauvoo.  .  .  .  .  138 



Affairs  at  Nauvoo — The  Nauvoo  Legion  organized — Building  of 
the  Hall  of  the  Seventies— The  Devil  Enraged — The  Doc- 
trine of  Plural  or  Celestial  Marriage  first  taught — Domestic 
Troubles  among  the  Saints — Joseph  Smith  becomes  a  Can- 
didate for  the  Presidency  of  the  U.  S. — Lee  goes  to  Ken- 
tucky on  an  Electioneering  Tour — The  Assassination  of 
the  Prophet  causes  his  return  to  Nauvoo.  .  .  .  144 



Assassination  of  Joseph  Smith  and  his  Brother  Hyrum — Causes 
•  of  the  Assassination — Successor  of  the  Prophet — Brigham 
Young  Chosen — He  Steals  the  Inheritance  of  Young  Joseph 
— Lee  is  appointed  to  various  Offices  of  Trust  and  Honor — 
Assassination  of  Erwin  by  orders  of  Brigham  Young — Se- 
cret Murders  and  Robberies  by  the  Saints — Teachings  of 
the  Church  —  Arrogance  and  Oppressions  of  Brigham 
Young.  ........  152 



Celestial  Marriage  taught  and  practiced — Lee  embraces  the  Doc- 
trine and  takes  a  number  of  Wives — Troubles  with  the 
Gentiles — The  Saints  prepare  to  Emigrate  —  Baptisms, 
Washings  and  Anointings  in  the  Temple.  .  .  .  166 

CONTENTS.  xiii 



Reminiscences  of  the  Prophet  Joseph — His  Fourth  of  July  Toast 
— Lee  removes  his  Family  from  Nauvoo — Great  Sacrifices 
of  Property  by  the  Saints  to  get  away — Brigham  Young 
blesses  Lee — The  Saints  move  through  Iowa — Lee  restores 
a  Blind  Man  to  Sight! — Settlements  established  at  Garden 
Grove  and  Pisgah — Arrival  at  Council  Bluffs — The  Missouri 
Kiver  Crossed.  .......  17& 



The  Saints  prepare  to  go  into  Winter  Quarters — Lee  is  sent  to 
the  Mormon  Battalion  at  Santa  Fe  to  bring  back  the  Sol- 
diers' pay — A  Long  and  Dangerous  Journey  and  safe  Return 
— Follows  an  Invisible  Guide — Miraculous  Deliverance 
from  Indians— Safe  Arrival — Finds  his  family  suffering.  .  182 



In  camp — Angry  words  with  Brigham  Young — Gives  an  account 
of  his  Trip  and  Pays  over  the  Money — Contrast,  1847 
and  1877 — Opens  a  Store  at  Winter  Quarters — Is  Sealed  to 
a  number  of  Wives — Summer  Quarters  laid  out — Life  on 
the  Border — Bravery  of  Lee's  Wives — Jealousy  of  the 
Brethren — Murmurings  of  the  Saints  against  Lee — Ingrati- 
tude and  Heartlessness  of  Brigham  Young.  .  .  195 



Closing  events  of  Lee's  Life — Startling  Revelations  of  Crimes 
and  Church  Secrets,  implicating  Brigham  Young  and  the 
Mormon  Leaders — The  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre,  and 
all  the  particulars  thereof.  .....  213 



More  Startling  Revelations — Going  "  Over  the  Rim  of  the  Basin" 
— Brigham  "goes  to  God  "  with  his  crimes,  and  is  strength- 
ened in  a  "Vision" — A  "bully"  Warrior — A  model  Indian 
Agent — Brigham  preaches  a  "Red-hot"  Sermon — The  "Old 
Boss''  on  his  travels — Brigham  betrays  Lee — Tricks  of 
"Dirty  Fingered  Jake  Hamblin" — Some  "Blood  Atone- 
ments"—»Some  "Holy"  men  and  their  deeds — Exploits  of 


the  "Destroying  Angels" — Shocking  Barbarities — End  of 
Confession.         ...  .          ..  .      249 



Brigham  imagines  he  is  going  to  be  Assassinated — Lively  Adven- 
tures of  the  Deputy  Marshal — Hunting  Lee  in  his  Strong- 
hold— Efforts  of  his  sons  to  prevent  his  Arrest — Lee  is 
found  concealed  in  a  pen,  and  is  Arrested — A  pungent 
Toast  by  one  of  his  Daughters — The  journey  to  Beaver 
City.  ........  298 



Depositions  of  Brigham  Young,  George  A.  Smith,  etc. — Witnesses 
Manufactured  to  order — Startling  Developments — Determ- 
ination of  the  Mormon  Leaders  to  convict  Lee.  .  .  802 



Testimony  of  Witnesses— Getting  at  the  bottom  facts  by  a  circu- 
itous route — Model  Witnesses.  .  .  .  817 



Conclusion  of  the  Evidence— Conviction  and  Sentence  of  Lee — 

Additional  facts.  ......      860 



Of  the  Mountain  Meadows  Assassins,  as  given  by  Lee.      ,  879 


KXECUTION  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  .  .  888 


ONE  hundred  and  twenty  men.  women,  and  children  were 
murdered  by  Mormons  and  Indians,  at  the  Mountain 
Meadows,  on  Friday,  September  16,  1857,  or  thereabouts.  The 
victims  were  members  of  a  train  under  command  of  Captain 
Fancher,  and  are  generally  known  as  the  Arkansas  Emigrant 
Company.  At  that  time  Brigham  Young  was  Governor  of  Utah 
Territory,  and  also  the  head  of  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of 
Latter  Day  Saints.  Acting  as  Governor  of  the  Territory,  he 
and  his  followers  had,  for  a  series  of  years,  violated  the  laws  of 
the  United  States,  with  insulting  impunity,  and  then  were  stand- 
ing in  hostile  attitude  towards  the  government.  Brigham  Young 
had  the  audacity  to  declare  Utah  under  martial  law,  and  call 
out  his  legions  of  fanatics  to  oppose  the  forces  of  the  United 
States  which  had  been  ordered  to  Utah  to  enforce  obedience  to 
the  Government.  As  leader  and  head  of  the  Mormon  Church, 
he  had  taught  his  followers  to  believe  that  he  was  an  inspired 
man,  and  as  such,  receiving  orders  and  revelations  direct  from 
the  God  of  Heaven ;  that  the  time  had  arrived  when  Christ  was 
to  come  to  earth  and  reign  a  thousand  years,  and  that  all  who 
did  not  accept  the  Book  of  Mormon,  and  the  teachings  of 
Brigham  Young,  as  God's  holy  religion,  were  to  suffer  death, 
and  the  wealth  of  the  unbelievers  to  become  the  property  of  the 
so-called  Saints.  He  had  also  taught  the  doctrine  that  all  who 
opposed  his  orders  or  refused  obedience  to  his  commands  should 
die,  and  if  they  had  been  members  of  the  Mormon  Church  their 
blood  was  to  be  shed  in  order  to  save  their  souls.  At  that  time 
Brigham  Young  had  the  sole  control  of  everything  in  Utah ;  his 
word  was  law ;  his  orders  were  given  under  the  pretense  that 
they  emanated  from  God,  and  to  disobey  his  orders  was  treason 
to  the  Church  and  punishable  by  death.  The  Mormon  people 
were  willing  followers  of  their  designing  leader.  They  believed 
in  polygamy,  blood  atonement,  and  the  inspiration  of  the  priest- 


hood.  Their  intelligence  made  their  fanaticism  the  more  danger- 
ous. No  crime  was  so  great  that  it  would  not  be  ordered  by 
Brigham  Young,  if  he  believed  it  would  benefit  Mormonism,  and 
no  order  could  be  given  by  him  but  what  his  deluded  followers 
considered  it  their  bounden  duty  to  unquestioningly  obey. 

The  oaths  taken  by  the  Mormons  in  their  various  ceremonies 
bound  them  under  fearful  penalties  to  lay  aside  all  individuality, 
and  become  the  willing  tools  of  a  cruel  and  treasonable  priest- 
hood. Blind  obedience  to  Brigham  Young  was  the  test  of 
Christian  excellence.  Salvation  and  celestial  glory  were  offered 
by  the  Church  leaders,  and  confidently  expected  by  the  brethren, 
as  the  reward  to  be  received  for  the  most  fearful  crimes. 
Brigham  Young  held  the  keys  of  Heaven,  so  it  was  said,  and 
so  his  followers  believed,  and  certain  it  was  he  held  the  life  of 
every  man  in  the  Territory  of  Utah  in  his  hand.  Law  and  jus- 
tice were  unheard  of,  or  at  least  unknown.  The  so-called  refor- 
mation was  then  at  its  height.  The  members  of  the  Church  were 
confessing  their  sins  to  each  other  in  public  and  being 
rebaptized  under  promise  of  certain  salvation.  Superstition, 
fanaticism,  and  satanic  influences  of  every  character  had  changed 
the  dwellers  in  Utah  from  American  citizens,  with  reasoning 
faculties,  into  blind  zealots,  anxious  to  do  any  act  that  their  so- 
called  Prophet  commanded.  It  was  while  this  condition  of 
affairs  existed  in  Utah  that  Captain  Fancher  attempted  to  cross 
the  Territory,  on  the  way  to  the  pleasant  valleys  of  the  Golden 
State,  where  the  company  intended  to  settle  and  build  homes  for 
themselves  and  their  children. 

In  support  of  the  charge  that  Brigham  Young  favored  the 
shedding  of  blood  as  an  atonement  for  sin,  I  quote  the  following 
compilation  of  extracts  which  were  kindly  furnished  me  by  the 
Salt  Lake  Tribune,  and  as  they  speak  for  themselves,  comment 
is  useless : 


"  I  could  refer  you  to  plenty  of  instances  where  men  have  been 
righteously  slain  in  order  to  atone  for  their  sins." 

"  But  now  I  say,  in  the  name  of  the  Lord,  that  if  this  people 
will  sin  no  more,  but  faithfully  live  their  religion,  their  sins  will 
be  forgiven  them  without  taking  life." 

"  Now,  when  you  hear  my  brethren  telling  about  cutting  peo- 
ple off  from  the  earth,  that  you  consider  is  strong  doctrine ; 
but  it  is  to  save  them,  not  to  destroy  them." 

"All   mankind   love  themselves;  and  let  these  principles  be 

/-Vr.£  OD  UCTOli  Y.  17 

known  by  an  individual,  and  he  would  be  glad  to  have  his  blood 
shed.  That  would  be  loving  themselves  even  unto  eternal  exal- 

"  This  is  loving  our  neighbor  as  ourselves ;  if  he  needs  help, 
help  him  ;  if  he  wishes  salvation,  and  it  is  necessary  to  spill  his 
blood  upon  the  ground  in  order  that  he  be  saved,  spill  it." 

"  Any  of  you  who  understand  the  principles  of  eternity,  if  you 
have  sinned  a  sin  requiring  the  shedding  of  blood,  except  the 
sin  unto  death,  would  not  be  satisfied  or  rest  until  your  blood 
should  be  spilled,  that  you  might  gain  the  salvation  you  desire. 
This  is  the  way  to  love  mankind." 

44  It  is  true  the  blood  of  the  Son  of  God  was  shed  for  sins 
through  the  fall  and  those  committed  by  men,  yet  ye  men  can 
commit  sins  which  it  can  never  remit.  As  it  was  in  the  ancient 
days,  so  it  is  in  our  day ;  and  though  the  principles  are  taught 
publicly  from  this  stand,  still  the  people  do  not  understand 
them  ;  yet  the  law  is  precisely  the  same." 

"  I  have  known  a  great  many  men  who  have  left  this  Church, 
for  whom  there  is  no  chance  whatever  of  exaltation ;  but  if 
their  blood  had  been  spilled,  it  would  have  been  better  for 
them.  The  wickedness  and  ignorance  of  the  nations  forbid  this 
principle  being  in  full  force,  but  the  time  will  come  when  the 
law  of  God  will  be  in  full  force." 

"  Will  you  love  your  brothers  and  sisters  likewise,  when  they 
have  committed  a  sin  that  cannot  be  atoned  for  without  the 
shedding  of  their  blood?  Will  you  love  that  man  or  woman  well 
enough  to  shed  their  blood  ?  That  is  what  Jesus  Christ  meant. 
He  never  told  a  man  or  woman  to  love  their  enemies  in  their 
wickedness.  He  never  intended  any  such  thing.  " 

"I  have  known  scores  and  hundreds  of  people  for  whom 
there  would  have  been  a  chance  in  the  last  resurrection  if  their 
lives  had  been  taken  and  their  blood  spilled  upon  the  ground  as 
a  smoking  incense  to  the  Almighty,  but  who  are  now  angels  to 
the  devil,  until  our  elder  brother,  Jesus  Christ,  raises  them  up, 
conquers  death,  hell,  and  the  grave." 

'•There  are  sins  that  can  be  atoned  for  by  an  offering  upon 
an  altar,  as  in  ancient  days ;  and  there  are  sins  that  the  blood 
of  a  lamb,  of  a  calf,  or  of  turtle  cloves  cannot  remit,  but  they 
must  be  atoned  for  by  the  blood  of  the  man.  That  is  the  rea- 
son why  men  talk  to  you  as  they  do  from  this  stand  ;-  they  un- 
derstand the  doctrine,  and  throw  out  a  few  words  about  it. 
You  have  been  taught  that  doctrine,  but  you  do  not  under- 
stand it." 

4 'Now,  take  a  person  in  this  congregation,  who  has  a  knowl- 
edge of  being  saved  in  the  kingdom  of  our  God  and  our  Father, 
and  being  an  exalted  one, — who   knows  and    understands  the 
principles  of  eternal  life,  and  sees  the  beauty  and  excellency  of 

18  INTE  OD  UCTOE  Y. 

the  eternities  before  him,  compared  with  the  vain  and  foolish 
things  of  the  world ;  and  suppose  he  is  overtaken  with  a  gross 
fault,  that  he  has  committed  a  fault  which  he  knows  will  deprive 
him  of  that  exaltation  which  he  desires,  and  that  he  cannot 
attain  to  it  without  the  shedding  of  blood ;  and  also  knows  that 
by  having  his  blood  shed,  he  will  atone  for  that,  sin  and  be 
saved,  and  be  exalted  with  the  gods,  is  there  a  man  or  woman 
in  this  house  but  what  would  say,  '  Shed  my  blood,  that  I  may 
be  saved  and  exalted  with  the  gods?' ' 

Brigham  Young  had  also  written  letters  to  his  chief  men 
throughout  the  Territory,  inciting  them  against  the  people  of 
the  United  States.  That  it;  may  be  understood  what  kind  of 
language  he  used  to  his  bishops  in  these  circulars,  I  copy  the 
one  sent  to  Wm.  H.  Dame,  the  man  who  was  colonel  and  com- 
mander of  the  militia  in  southern  Utah,  and  who  afterwards,  and 
while  standing  upon  Mountain  Meadows  examining  the  bodies 
of  those  that  he  had  directed  Haight  to  slaughter,  said :  "I 
would  not  have  given  the  orders  if  I  had  thought  there  were  so 
many  of  them."  The  circular  bears  date  two  days  before  the 
massacre  is  charged  to  have  been  committed,  and  the  supposi- 
tion is  that  it  had  been  delivered  to  Dame  at  the  time  he  issued 
.his  orders  for  the  massacre.  It  explains  itself,  and  reads  as 
follows : 

"GREAT  SALT  LAKE  CITY,  Sept.  14,  1857. 
"  Colonel  William  H.  Dame,  Parowan,  Iron  Co. : 

"Herewith  you  will  receive  the  Governor's  Proclamation, 
declaring  martial  law.  You  will  probably  not  be  called  out  this 
Fall,  but  are  requested  to  continue  to  make  ready  for  a  big  fight 
another  year.  The  plan  of  operations  is  supposed  to  be  about 
this:  In  case  the  U.  S.  Government  should  send  out  an  over- 
powering force,  we  intend  to  desolate  the  Territory  and  conceal 
our  families,  stock,  and  all  of  our  effects  in  the  fastnesses  of  the 
mountains,  where  they  will  be  safe,  while  the  men  waylay  our 
enemies,  attack  them  from  ambush,  stampede  their  animals, 
take  the  supply  trains,  cut  off  detachments  and  parties  sent  to 
canons  for  wood  or  on  other  service.  To  lay  waste  everything 
that  will  burn — houses,  fences,  trees,  fields,  grass — that  they 
cannot  find  a  particle  of  anything  that  will  be  of  use  to  them, 
not  even  sticks  to  make  a  fire  for  to  cook  their  suppers.  To 
waste  away  our  enemies,  and  lose  none.  That  will  be  our  mode 
of  warfare.  Thus  you  see  the  necessity  of  preparing.  First 
secure  places  in  the  mountains  where  they  cannot  find  us,  or  if 
they  do,  where  they  cannot  approach  in  any  force,  and  then 
prepare  for  our  families,  building  some  cabins,  caching  flour  and 
grain.  Flour  should  be  ground  in  the  latter  part  of  Winter,  or 

INTB  OD  UC  TOP.  Y.  1 9 

early  in  the  Spring,  in  order  to  keep.  Sow  grain  in  your  fields 
early  as  possible  this  Fall,  so  that  the  harvest  of  another  year 
may  come  off  before  they  have  time  to  get  here.  Conciliate  the 
Indians,  and  make  them  our  fast  friends.  In  regard  to  letting 
people  pass  or  repass,  or  travel  through  the  Territory,  this  applies 
to  all  strangers  and  suspected  persons.  Yourself  and  Bro.  Isaac 

C.  Haight,  in  your  district,  are  authorized  to  give  such  permits. 
Examine  all  such  persons  strictly  before  giving  them  permits  to 
pass,  keep  things  perfectly  quiet  and  let  all  things  be  done  peace- 
fully, but  with  firmness,  and  let  there  be  no  excitement.    Let  the 
people  be  united  in  their  feelings  and  faith,  as  well  as  works, 
and  keep  alive  the  spirit  of  the  reformation ;  and  what  we  said  in 
regard  to  sowing  the  grain  and  provisions,  we  say  again,  let 
there  be  no  waste;   save  life  always  when  it  is  possible — we  do 
not  wish  to  shed  a  drop  of  blood  if  it  can  be  avoided.     This 
course  will  give  us  great  influence  abroad. 

[Signed]  "  BRIGHAM  YOUNG. 

[Signed]  "DANIEL  H.  WELLS." 

Next,  take  the  proclamation  declaring  martial  law  in  the  Terri- 
tory, and  put  these  facts  together,  and  no  fair-minded  person 
can  deny  that  the  massacre  was  the  result  of  the  teachings  of 
Brigham  Young,  and  that  the  Mormons  in  church  council  decided 
that  the  emigrants  should  be  killed  as  they  were  afterwards  killed. 

I  claim  that  Brigham  Young  is  the  real  criminal,  and  that  John 

D.  Lee  was  an  instrument  in  his  hands.     That  Brigham  Young 
used  John  D.  Lee,  as  the  assassin  uses  the  dagger,  to  strike 
down  his  unsuspecting  victim ;  and  as  the  assassin  throws  away 
the  dagger,  to  avoid  its  bloody  blade  leading  to  his  detection, 
so  Brigham  Young  used  John  D.  Lee  to  do  his  horrid  work; 
and  when  discovery  becomes  unavoidable,  he  hurls  Lee  from 
•him,  cuts  him  away  from  the  Church,  and  casts  him  far  out  into 
the  whirlpool  of  destruction.     The  assassin  has  no  further  use 
for  his  weapon.     I  also  claim  that  if  religious  fanaticism  can 
clear  a  man  from  crime,  that  John  D.  Lee  was  guiltless,  for  he 
was  one  of  the  most  intensely  fanatical  Mormons  that  infested 
Utah  in  1857.     But  I  do  not  claim  that  the  fact  of  his  being  a 
fanatic  and  blinded  believer  of  Brigham  Young's  so-called  reve- 
lations excused  him — far  from  it.     In  place  of  excusing  him,  it 
added  to  his  crime.     Such  insanity  as  that  which  religious  fanat- 
icism breeds,  can  only,  and  should  only,  be  treated  by  the  exe- 
cutioner, and  there  are  many  thousands  in  Utah  who  are  afflicted 
with  the  disease,  that  calls  for  that  radical  treatment  which  was 
administered  to  Lee.     The  Mormons  around  Cedar  City,  espe- 

2  0  IJVT.R  OD  UC  TOJ3  Y. 

cially,  were  insane  dreamers,  and  to  them  the  Danites,  Destroy- 
ing Angels  and  Blood  Atoners  became  objects  of  ecstatic  admira- 
tion. The  Mormons  had  come  into  existence  to  combat  the 
doctrines  of  Protestants  and  Catholics  alike.  They  were  infatu- 
ated followers  of  designing  leaders,  anxious  to  earn  the  martyr's 
crown  by  giving  up  life  if  necessary  to  advance  the  interest  of 
the  Mormon  Church,  or  please  one  of  the  priesthood. 

The  Templars  and  Knights  of  St.  John  were  no  more  willing 
servants  of  the  Cross,  in  its  war  with  the  Crescent,  than  were  the 
deluded  followers  of  Brigham  Young  to  overthrow  all  established 
government,  and  shed  the  blood  of  all  who  were  marked  as  vic- 
tims by  the  false  prophet  who  directed  their  assassin-like  actions. 
They  had  no  law  but  the  will  of  Brigham  Young.  No  purpose 
but  what  they  called  the  will  of  God.  Their  discipline  was  per- 
fect, and  their  devotion  absolute. 

Such  was  the  condition  of  affairs  when  the  fair  plains  of  Utah 
were  wetted  with  the  blood  of  over  one  hundred  and  twenty 
human  beings,  that  had  been  doomed  to  death  by  the  unanimous- 
voice  of  the  Satanic  crew  that  elaimed  to  be  servants  of  the  ever- 
living  God.  Since  that  time  every  force  has  been  brought  for- 
ward which  Mormonism  could  wield  to  prevent  the  facts  from 
becoming  known.  Brigham  Young  has  shielded  and  rewarded 
those  that  he  well  knew  were  engaged  in  the  unholy  work. 

I  cannot  explain  the  facts  connected  with  the  Mormons  and 
the  massacre,  in  any  other  way,  so  fully  and  clearly,  and  yet  so 
truly,  as  I  can  by  giving  extracts  from  the  speech  of  Judge 
Cradlebaugb.  which  he  delivered  in  Congress,  in  the  year  1863. 
Judge  Cradlebaugh  was  an  educated,  honorable  gentleman,, 
whose  word  no  man  that  ever  knew  him  can  honestly  dispute. 
He  was  speaking  about  the  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre,  and 
calling  upon  Congress  for  needed  legislation  for  the  Territory 
of  Utah.  The  entire  speech  is  one  that  every  lover  of  our  in- 
stitutions should  be  familiar  with,  as  it  most  clearly  portrays  the 
evils  of  the  Mormon  system.  I  would  like  to  publish  the  entire 
speech,  but  will  content  myself  by  giving  only  a  part.  In  re- 
gard to  what  Mormonism  is,  he  says : 

/""MR.  CRADLEBAUGH. — "Mr.  Speaker,  having  resided  for  some 
time  among  the  Mormons,  become  acquainted  with  their  eccle- 
siastical policy,  their  habits,  and  their  crimes,  I  feel  that  I  would 
not  be  discharging  my  duty  if  I  failed  to  impart  such  infor- 
mation as  I  have  acquired  in  regard  to  this  people  in  our  midst,. 


who  are  building  up,  consolidating,  and  daringly  carrying  out  a 
system  subversive  of  the  Constitution  and  laws,  and  fatal  to 
morals  and  true  religion. 

"The  remoteness  of  Utah  from  the  settled  regions  of  our  coun- 
try, and  the  absence  of  any  general  intercourse  between  the 
Mormons  and  the  masses  of  our  people,  have  served  to  keep  the 
latter  in  almost  complete  ignorance  of  the  character  and  designs 
of  the  former.  That  ignorance,  pardonable  at  first,  becomes 
criminal  when  the  avenues  to  a  full  knowledge  are  open  to  us. 

"Mormonism  is  one  of  the  monstrosities  of  the  age  in  which 
we  live.  It  seems  to  have  been  left  for  the  model  Republic  of  the 
world,  for  the  nineteenth  century,  when  the  light  of  knowledge 
is  more  generally  diffused  than  ever  before,  when  in  art,  science 
and  philosophy  we  have  surpassed  all  that  ages  of  the  past  can 
show,  to  produce  an  idle,  worthless  vagabond  of  an  impostor, 
who  heralds  forth  a  creed  repulsive  to  every  refined  mind,  op- 
posed to  every  generous  impulse  of  the  human  heart,  and  a  faith 
which  commands  a  violation  of  the  rights  of  hospitality,  sancti- 
fies falsehood,  enforces  the  systematic  degradation  of  women, 
not  only  permits,  but  orders,  the  commission  of  the  vilest  lusts, 
in  the  name  of  Almighty  God  himself,  and  teaches  that  it  is  a 
sacred  duty  to  commit  the  crimes  of  theft  and  murder.  It  is 
surprising  that  such  faith,  taught  too,  in  the  coarsest  and  most 
vulgar  way,  should  meet  with  any  success.  Yet  in  less  than'  a 
century  it  girdles  the  globe.  Its  missionaries  are  planted  in 
every  place.  You  find  them  all  over  Europe,  thick  through 
England  and  Wales,  traversing  Asia  and  Africa,  and  braving 
the  billows  of  the  southern  oceans  to  seek  proselytes.  And,  as 
if  to  crown  its  achievements,  it  establishes  itself  in  the  heart  of 
one  of  the  greatest  and  most  powerful  governments  of  the 
world,  establishes  therein  a  theocratic  government  overriding 
all  other  government,  putting  the  laws  at  defiance,  and  now 
seeks  to  consummate  and  perpetuate  itself  by  acquiring  a  State 
sovereignty,  and  by  being  placed  on  an  equality  with  the  other 
states  of  the  Union. 

"Mormonism  is  in  part  a  conglomeration  of  illy  cemented 
creeds  from  other  religions,  and  in  part  founded  upon  the  eccen- 
tric production  of  one  Spaulding,  who,  having  failed  as  a 
preacher  and  shopkeeper,  undertook  to  write  a  historic  novel. 
He  had  a  smattering  of  biblical  knowledge,  and  chose  for  his 
subject  'the  history  of  the  lost  tribes  of  Israel.'  The  whole 
was  supposed  to  be  communicated  by  the  Indians,  and  the  last 
of  the  series  was  named  Mormon,  representing  that  he  had 
buried  the  book.  It  was  a  dull,  tedious,  interminable  volume, 
marked  by  ignorance  and  folly.  The  work  was  so  flat,  stupid 
and  insipid,  that  no  publisher  could  be  induced  to  bring  it 
before  the  world.  Poor  Spaulding  at  length  went  to  his  grave, 

22  INTB  OD  UC  TOE  Y. 

and  the  manuscript  remained  a  neglected  roll  in  the  possession 
of  his  widow. 

"Then  arose  Joe  Smith,  more  ready  to  live  by  his  wits  than  by 
the  labor  of  his  hands.  Smith  had,  early  in  life,  manifested  a 
turn  for  pious  frauds.  He  had  figured  in  several  wrestling 
matches  with  the  devil,  and  had  been  conspicuous  in  giving  in 
eventful  experiences  in  religion  at  certain  revivals.  He  an- 
nounced that  he  had  dug  up  the  book  of  Mormon,  which  taught 
the  true  religion;  this  was  none  other  than  poor  Spaulding's 
manuscript,  which  he  had  purloined  from  the  widow.  In  his  hands 
the  manuscript  became  the  basis  of  Mormonism.  Joe  became  a 
prophet;  the  founder  of  a  religious  sect;  the  president  of  a 
swindling  bank ;  the  builder  of  the  City  of  Nauvoo ;  mayor  of  the 
city;  general  of  the  armies  of  Israel;  candidate  for  President 
of  the  United  States,  and  finally  a  martyr,  as  the  Saints  choose 
to  call  him.  But  the  truth  is  that  his  villainies,  together  with 
the  villainies  of  his  followers,  brought  down  upon  him  the  just 
vengeance  of  the  people  of  Illinois  and  Missouri,  and  his  career 
was  brought  to  an  end  by  his  being  shot  while  confined  in  jail 
in  Carthage.  It  was  unfortunate  that  such  was  his  end,  for  his- 
followers  raised  the  old  cry  of  martyrdom  and  persecution, 
and,  as  always  proved,  '  the  blood  of  the  martyr  was  the  seed 
of  the  church.' 

"  Mormonism  repudiates  the  celibacy  imposed  by  the  Catholic 
religion  upon  its  priesthood,  and  takes  in  its  stead  the  voluptu- 
ous impositions  of  the  Mohammedan  Church.  It  preaches 
openly  that  the  more  wives  and  children  its  men  have  in  this 
world,  the  purer,  more  influential  and  conspicuous  will  they 
be  in  the  next ;  that  wives,  children,  and  property  will  not  only 
be  restored,  but  doubled  in  the  resurrection.  It  adopts  the 
use  of  prayers  and  baptism  for  the  dead,  as  a  part  of  its  creed. 
Mormons  claim  to  be  favored  with  marvelous  gifts — the  power 
of  speaking  in  tongues,  of  casting  out  devils,  of  curing  the  sick, 
and  of  healing  the  lame  and  the  halt.  They  claim  that  they 
have  a  living  prophet,  seer  and  revelator  who  holds  the  keys  of 
of  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven,  and  through  whose  intercession 
alone  access  can  be  had.  They  recognize  the  Bible,  but  they 
interpret  it  for  tkemselves,  and  hold  that  it  is  subject  to  be 
changed  by  new  revelation,  which,  they  say,  supercedes  old 
revelation.  One  of  their  doctrines  is  that  of  continued  progres- 
sion to  ultimate  perfection.  They  say  God  was  but  a  man,  who 
west  out  developing  and  increasing  until  he  reached  his  .present 
high  capacity ;  and  they  teach  that  Mormons  will  be  equal  to 
him ;  in  a  word,  that  good  Mormons  will  become  gods.  They 
teach  the  shedding  of  blood  for  remission  of  sins,  or,  in  other 
words,  that  if  a  Mormon  apostatizes,  his  throat  shall  be  cut, 
and  his  blood  poured  out  upon  the  ground  for  the  remission  of 


his  sins.  They  also  practice  other  revolting  doctrines,  such 
as  are  only  carried  out  in  polygamous  countries,  which  is 
evidenced  by  a  number  of  mutilated  persons  in  their  midst. 
They  hold  that  the  prophet's  revelations  are  binding  upon 
their  consciences,  and  that  they  are  bound  to  obey  him  in 
all  things.  They  say  that  the  earth  and  the  fullness  thereof 
is  the  Lord's ;  that  they  are  God's  chosen  people  on  earth ;  that 
their  mission  on  earth  is  to  take  charge  of  God's  property,  and, 
as  faithful  stewards,  that  it  is  their  duty  to  obtain  it,  and  are 
taught  that,  in  obtaining  it,  they  must  not  get  in  debt  to  the 
Lord's  enemies  for  it ;  in  other  words,  they  teach  that  it  is  a 
duty  to  rob  and  steal  from  Gentiles.  They  have  christened 
themselves  '  The  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter-day  Saints. ' 
They  claim  that  Moruaonism  is  to  go  on  spreading  until  it  over- 
throws all  the  nations  of  the  earth,  and  if  necessary  for  its 
accomplishment,  its  success  shall  be  consummated  by  the 
sword ;  that  Jackson  county,  Missouri,  is  to  be  the  seat  of 
empire  of  the  Mormon  Church ;  that  here  the  Mormons  are  to 
be  finally  gathered,  and  that  from  that  Zion  shall  proceed  a 
power  that  will  dethrone  kings,  subvert  dynasties,  and  subjugate 
all  the  nations  of  the  earth. 

"  I  have  said  that  their  doctrines  were  repulsive  to  every  refined 
mind.  Every  other  false  faith  which  has  reigned  its  evil  time 
upon  this  goodly  world  of  ours,  has  had  some  kindly  and  re- 
deeming features.  Even  the  semi-theocracy  of  the  Aztecs,  as 
Prescott  tells  you,  disfigured  as  it  was  by  horrid  and  bloody  rites, 
was  not  without  them.  Buddhism  and  Brahmanism,  with  all 
their  misshapen  fables,  still  inculcated,  in  no  small  degree,  a 
pure  code  of  morals.  Nor  is  the  like  assertion  untrue  of  Mo- 
hammedanism. It  was  reserved  for  Mormonism,  far  off  in  the 
bosom  of  our  beloved  land,  to  rear  its  head,  naked  in  all  its 
hideous  deformity,  and  unblusbingly,  yes,  defiantly,  proclaim  a 
creed  without  the  least  redeeming  feature,  and  of  such  character 
that  the  Thugism  of  India  cannot  match  it. 

"So  at  variance  is  the  practice  of  polygamy  with  all  the  in- 
stincts of  humanity,  that  it  has  to  be  pressed  upon  the  people 
with  the  greatest  assiduity  as  a  part  of  their  religious  duty.  It 
is  astonishing  with  what  pertinacity  through  all  their  '  sermons 
and  discources '  it  is  justified  and  insisted  on.  Threats, 
entreaties,  persuasions,  and  commands,  are  continually  brought 
in  play  to  enforce  its  cheerful  observance.  So  revolting  is  it  to 
the  women,  that  to  aid  in  its  enforcement  they  are  brutalized, 
their  modesty  destroyed  by  low,  vile,  vulgar  expressions,  such 
as  I  could  not  repeat,  and  would  not  ask  the  clerk  to  read  in 
your  hearing.  If,  however,  my  conjugal  friend,  the  Delegate 
from  Utah,  will  undertake  such  task,  I  will  most  cheerfully  fur- 
nish them  for  him ;  certainly  he  ought  not  to  hesitate.  If  they 

24  INTB  OD  UCTOB  T. 

are  proper  to  be  repeated  before  large  congregations  of  women 
and  children  in  Salt  Lake  City,  the  representative  of  the  Church 
ought  not  to  be  ashamed  at  reading  them  to  this  House.  Will 
the  Delegate  from  Utah  read  them  ? 


"  But  their  teachings,  officially  reported  by  themselves,  give 
you  a  better  idea  of  their  estimation  of  woman  than  anything  I 
could  say.  I  shall  read  to  you  from  a  few  of  their  sermons  on 
this  subject,  only  observing  that  you  may  pick  other  passages 
inculcating  similar  doctrines,  containing  like  threats,  rebukes, 
and  complaints,  in  nearly  every  sermon  published  in  the  Church 

"President  J.  M.  Grant,  in  a  sermon  delivered  September  21, 
1856,  reported  in  the  Deseret  News,  (volume  6,  page  235)  said: 

"'And  we  have  women  here  who  like  any  thing  but  the  celes- 
tial law  of  God ;  and,  if  they  could,  would  break  asunder  the 
cable  of  the  Church  of  Christ ;  there  is  scarcely  a  mother  in 
Israel  but  would  do  it  this  day.  And  they  talk  it  to  their  hus- 
bands, to  their  daughters,  and  to  their  neighbors,  and  say  that 
they  have  not  seen  a  week's  happiness  since  they  became  ac- 
quainted with  that  law,  or  since  their  husbands  took  a  second 
wife.  They  want  to  break  up  the  Church  of  God,  and  to  break 
it  from  their  husbands  and  from  their  family  connections.' 

"President  Brigharn  Young,  in  a  sermon  delivered  the  same 
day,  reported  in  the  same  paper,  said: 

"  '  Now,  for  my  proposition;  it  is  more  particularly  for  my 
sisters,  as  it  is  frequently  happening  that  women  say  that  they 
are  unhappy.  Men  will  say,  lt  my  wife,  though  a  most  excellent 
woman,  has  not  seen  a  happy  day  since  I  took  my  second  wife  ; 
no,  not  a  happy  day  for  a  year.  "  It  is  said  that  women  are 
tied  down  and  abused  ;  that  they  are  misused,  and  have  not  the 
liberty  they  ought  to  have ;  that  many  of  them  are  wading 
through  a  perfect  flood  of  tears,  because  of  the  conduct  of  some 
men,  together  with  their  own  folly. 

"  '  I  wish  my  women  to  understand  that  what  I  am  going  to  say 
is  for  them,  as  well  as  all  others,  and  I  want  those  who  are  here 
to  tell  their  sisters,  yes,  all  the  women  of  this  community,  and 
then  write  it  back  to  the  States,  and  do  as  you  please  with  it.  I 
am  going  to  give  3Tou  from  this  time  to  the  6th  da}-  of  October 
next  for  reflection,  that  you  may  determine  whether  you  wish  to 
stay  with  your  husbands  or  not,  and  then  I  am  going  to  set 
every  woman  at  liberty,  and  say  to  them,  "  now  go  your  way, 
my  women  with  the  rest;  go  your  way.  "  And  my  wives  have 
got  to  do  one  of  two  things ;  either  round  up  their  shoulders  to 
endure  the  afflictions  of  this  world,  and  live  their  religion,  or 
they  may  leave,  for  I  will  not  have  them  about  me.  I  will  go 
into  Heaven  alone,  rather  than  have  scratching  and  fighting 

INTE  OD  UCTOE  Y.  25 

around  me.     I  will  set  all  at  liberty.     "  What,  first  wife  too?" 
Yes,  I  will  liberate  you  all. 

"  '  I  know  what  my  women  will  say ;  they  will  say,  u  you  can 
have  as  many  women  as  you  please,  Brigham."  But  I  want  to 
go  somewhere  and  do  something  to  get  rid  of  the  whiners ;  I  do 
not  want  them  to  receive  a  part  of  the  truth  and  spurn  the  rest 
out  of  doors. 

"  '  Let  every  man  thus  treat  his  wives,  keeping  raiment  enough 
to  clothe  his  body ;  and  say  to  your  wives,  "  take  all  that  I  have 
and  be  set  at  liberty ;  but  if  you  stay  with  me  you  shall  comply 
with  the  law  of  God,  and  that,  too,  without  any  murmuring  and 
whining.  You  must  fulfill  the  law  of  God  in  every  respect,  and 
round  up  your  shoulders  to  walk  up  to  the  mark  without  any 

"  '  Now,  recollect,  that  two  weeks  from  to-morrow  I  am  going 
to  set  you  all  at  liberty.  But  the  first  wife  will  say,  "  it  is  hard, 
for  I  have  lived  with  my  husband  twenty  years,  or  thirty,  and 
have  raised  a  family  of  children  for  him,  and  it  is  a  great  trial 
to  me  for  him  to  have  more  women  that  will  bear  children."  If 
my  wife  had  borne  me  all  the  children  that  she  ever  would  bear, 
the  celestial  law  would  teach  me  to  take  young  women  that 
would  have  children.  * 

"  '  Sisters,  I  am  not  joking ;  I  do  not  throw  out  my  proposition 
to  banter  your  feelings,  to  see  whether  you  will  leave  your  hus- 
bands, all  or  any  of  you.  But  I  do  know  that  there  is  no  cessa- 
tion to  the  everlasting  whinings  of  many  of  the  women  of  this 
Territory.  And  if  the  women  will  turn  from  the  commandments 
of  God  and  continue  to  despise  the  order  of  Heaven,  I  will  pray 
that  the  curse  of  the  Almighty  may  be  close  to  their  heels,  and 
that  it  may  be  following  them  all  the  day  long.  And  those  that 
enter  into  it  and  are  faithful,  I  will  promise  them  that  they  shall 
be  queens  in  heaven  and  rulers  for  all  eternity.' 

"President  Heber  C.  Kimball,  in  a  discourse  delivered  in  the 
Tabernacle,  November  9,  1856  (Deserel  News,  volume  6,  page 
291),  said: 

"  'I  have  no  wife  or  child  that  has  any  right  to  rebel  against 
me.  If  they  violate  my  laws  and  rebel  against  me,  they  will  get 
into  trouble  just  as  quickly  as  though  they  transgressed  the 
counsels  and  teachings  of  Brother  Brigham.  Does  it  give  a 
woman  a  right  to  sin  against  me  because  she  is  my  wife  ?  No ; 
but  it  is  her  duty  to  do  my  will  as  I  do  the  will  of  my  Father 
and  my  God.  It  is  the  duty  of  a  woman  to  be  obedient  to  her 
husband,  and  unless  she  is,  I  would  not  give  a  damn  for  all  her 
queenly  right  and  authority,  nor  for  her  either,  if  she  will  quar- 
rel and  lie  about  the  work  of  God  and  the  principles  of  plurality. 
A  disregard  of  plain  and  correct  teachings  is  the  reason  why 
so  many  are  dead  and  damned,  and  twice  plucked  up 

2  6  IXTE  OD  UCTOR  T. 

by  the  roots,  and  I  would  as  soon  baptize  the  devil  as  some 
of  3*ou.' 

"  October  6,  1855  (volume  5,  page  274),  Kimball  said: 

"  '  If  you  oppose  any  of  the  works  of  God  you  will  cultivate  a 
spirit  of  apostasy.  If  you  oppose  what  is  called  the  spiritual 
wife  doctrines,  the  patriarchal  order,  which  is  of  God,  that  course 
will  corrode  you  with  apostasy,  and  you  will  go  overboard.  Still 
a  great  many  do  so,  and  strive  to  justify  themselves  in  it;  but 
they  are  not  justified  in  God.  ***** 

"  '  The  principle  of  plurality  of  wives  never  will  be  done  away, 
although  some  sisters  have  had  revelations  that  when  this  time 
passes  away,  and  they  go  through  the  vale,  every  woman  will 
have  a  husband  to  herself.  I  wish  more  of  our  young  men  would 
take  to  themselves  wives  of  the  daughters  of  Zion,  and  not  wait 
for  us  old  men  to  take  them  all.  Go  ahead  upon  the  right  prin- 
ciple, young  gentlemen,  and  God  bless  you  for  ever  and  everr 
and  make  you  fruitful,  that  we  may  fill  the  mountains  and  then 
the  earth,  with  righteous  inhabitants.' 

"  April  2.  1854,  President  Heber  C.  Kimball  said  in  the  Taber- 
nacle (see  Deseret  News,  volume  4,  No.  20): 

"  'There  are  some  ladies  who  are  not  happy  in  their  present 
situation ;  but  that  woman  who  cannot  be  happy  with  one  man 
cannot  be  happy  with  two.  You  know  all  women  are  good,  or 
ought  to  be.  They  are  made  for  angelic  beings,  and  I  would 
like  to  see  them  act  more  angelic  in  their  behavior.  You  were 
made  more  angelic,  and  a  little  weaker  than  man.  Man  is  made 
of  rougher  material — to  open  the  way,  cut  down  bushes  and  kill 
the  snakes — that  women  may  walk  along  through  life,  and  not 
soil  and  tear  their  skirts.  When  you  see  a  woman  with  ragged 
skirts  you  may  know  she  wears  the  unmentionables,  for  she  ia 
doing  the  man's  business,  and  has  not  time  to  cut  off  the  rags 
hanging  about  her.  From  this  time  henceforth  you  may  know 
what  woman  wears  her  husband's  pants.  May  the  Lord  bless 
you.  Amen.' 

"President  Heber  C.  Kimball,  in  a  lengthened  discourse,  de- 
livered in  the  Tabernacle  on  the  4th  day  of  April,  1857,  took  oc- 
casion to  say : 

*"I  would  not  be  afraid  to  promise  a  man  who  is  sixty 
years  of  age,  if  he  will  take  the  counsel  of  Brother  Brigham 
and  his  brethren,  he  will  renew  his  age.  I  have  noticed 
that  a  man  who  has  but  one  wife,  and  is  inclined  to  that 
doctrine,  soon  begins  to  wither  and  dry  up,  while  a  man  who 
goes  into  plurality  looks  fresh,  young  and  sprightly.  Why  is 
this?  Because  God  loves  that  man,  and  because  he  honors  his 
work  and  word.  Some  of  you  may  not  believe  this ;  but  I  not 
only  believe  it,  but  I  also  know  it.  For  a  man  of  God  to  be 
confined  to  one  woman  is  a  small  business,  for  it  is  as  much  as 

INTB  OD  UCTOR  Y.  2  7 

we  can  do  to  keep  under  the  burdens  we  have  to  carry,  and 
do  not  know  what  we  should  do  if  we  only  had  one  woman 

"President  Heber  C.  Kimball  used  the  following  language  in 
a  discourse,  instructing  a  band  of  missionaries  about  to  start 
on  their  mission : 

"  '  I  say  to  those  who  are  elected  to  go  on  missions,  go,  if  you 
never  return,  and  commit  what  you  have  into  the  hands  of  God 
— your  wives,  your  children,  your  brethren  and  your  property. 
Let  truth  and  righteousness  be  your  motto,  and  don't  go  into 
the  world  for  anything  else  but  to  preach  the  Gospel,  build  up  the 
kingdom  of  God,  and  gather  the  sheep  into  the  fold.     You  are 
sent   out  as  shepherds   to  gather  the  sheep  together ;  and  re- 
member  that  they  are   not  your  sheep ;   they   belong  to   him 
that  sends  you ;   then  don't  make   a   choice   of  any   of  those 
sheep,  don't  make  selections  before  they  are  brought  home  and 
put  into  the  fold.     You  understand  that!     Amen.' 
x-"Such,  then,  is  Mormonism  in  regard  to  all  that  beautifies 
mfe  in  the  conjugal  relation;  such  are  their  sentiments  and  com- 
v    Inlands  pronounced  under  the  assumed  authority  of  God  upon 
/the  female  sex.     When  President  Kimball  calls  his  numerous 
/wives  his  'cows, '  he  but  reflects  the  Mormon  idea  of  woman  in 
Hhe  social  scale. 

"The  view  is  sickening.  I  turn  with  loathing  and  disgust 
from  their  legalized  status  of  systematic  debauchery  and  lust. 
Before  it  the  entire  nature  recoils.  No  wonder  that  it  requires 
the  whole  enginery  of  the  Mormon  Church,  threats  and  intimida- 
tions to  compel  the  women  to  submit  to  it.  I  pity  that  man  or 
woman  who  can  for  one  moment  look  upon  this  organized,  sys- 
tematic, enforced  degradation  and  prostitution  with  any  other 
feeling  than  that  of  abhorrence  and  disgust.  In  matters  of 
affection  woman  is  a  monopolist — she  wants  the  whole  heart,  or 
she  wants  none.  But  in  Utah  she  is  compelled  to  take  part 
only  of  the  smallest  of  heai'ts — a  Mormon's  heart — little  atten- 
tion and  no  devotion.  £• — 

"  The  church  government  established  by  the  Mormons  to  carry 
into  operation  the  teachings  from  which  I  have  so  copiously 
extracted,  is  one  of  the  most  complete  despotisms  on  the  face  of 
the  earth.  The  mind  of  one  man  permeates  through  the  whole 
mass  of  the  people,  and  subjects  to  its  unrelenting  tyranny  the 
souls  and  bodies  of  all.  It  reigns  supreme  in  Church  and  State, 
in  morals,  and  even  in  the  minutest  domestic  and  social  arrange- 
ments. Brigham's  house  is  at  once  tabernacle,  capital  and 
harem ;  and  Brigham  himself  is  king,  priest,  lawgiver,  and  chief 
polygamist.  Is  treason  hatched  in  Utah? — Brigham  is  the 
head  traitor.  Is  a  law  enacted? — Brigham's  advice  deter- 
mines it.  Is  an  offending  'Gentile'  or  an  Apostate  Mor- 


raon  to  be  assassinated? — the  order  emanates  from  Brig- 

In  addition  to  all  this,  he  heals  the  afflicted  by  the  laying 
on  of  hands,  and  comforts  the  widow  by  becoming  her  hus- 
band. It  may  be  asked,  does  he  do  this  without  compensa- 
tion? No,  his  pay  is  both  high  and  certain.  He  taxes  his 
deluded  followers  to  the  extent  of  all  surplus  properly  upoa  their 
arrival  in  the  Territory.  He  subsequently  taxes  them  to  the 
extent  of  one-tenth  of  their  annual  productions  and  labor,  and  if 
reluctant  to  pay,  he  mercilessly  snatches  all  they  have.  He 
has  through  the  Legislature  unrestricted  license  to  tax  mer- 
chants. By  legislation,  all  estrays  in  the  Territory  are  impound- 
ed and  sold,  and  the  proceeds  paid  over  to  him.  By  like  author- 
ity he  seizes  upon  the  great  highway  between  our  Atlantic  and 
Pacific  possessions,  grants  exclusive  rights  to  erect  bridges  and 
ferries  across  all  the  streams  in  the  Territory,  and  fixes  the  toll 
at  enormous  rates,  ranging  from  five  to  ten  dollars  for  a  team, 
expressly  providing  in  the  law  that  a  portion  of  the  receipts  shall 
be  paid  over  to  himself,  by  which  means,  whether  willing  or 
unwilling,  the  emigrant  to  the  Pacific  coast  is  forced  to  build  up 
the  Church,  and  furnish  money  to  emigrate  pious  sisters  to  Zion 
io1  replenish  the  harems  of  the  hoary-headed  leaders  of  the 
•Church  ;  and  as  if  to  consummate  the  matter  of  pay,  all  escheats 
in  the  Territory  are  to  him  ;  the  property  of  the  emigrant,  and 
even  the  habiliments  of  the  deceased  may  be  sold,  and  the  pro- 
ceeds paid  over  to  him.  He  selects  for  himself  the  choicest 
spots  of  land  in  the  Territory,  and  they  yield  him  their  produc- 
tions, none  daring  to  interfere.  /^"" 

"The  timber  in  the  mountains  for  a  great  distance  from  Salt 
Lake  City  belongs  to  him,  and  it  is  only  b}'  delivering  each  third 
load,  as  he  shall  order,  that  the  gates  are  opened  and  the  citizen 
allowed  to  pass  up  City  Creek  canyon  to  obtain  it.  Having  ap- 
propriated all  that  he  desires  for  his  own  use.  he  has  quite  ex- 
tensive tracts  of  country  furnished  him  by  the  Federal  Govern- 
ment as  capital  for  his  Church.  He  sends  his  agents,  denomi- 
nating  them  missionaries,  to  Europe,  who  represent  Utah  as  a 
paradise,  and  go  into  the  market  offering  each  proselyte  who  will 
come  to  Zion,  a  homestead  of  a  quarter  of  a  section  of  land — 
being  in  return  compensated  by  the  addition  of  females  to  fill  the 
harems,  and  the  tithing  which  will  in  the  future  accrue  to  him. 
The  cattle  on  a  thousand  hills  exhibit  his  brand.  He  fixes  his 
pay — pays  himself.  His  pampered  but  plebeian  body  reposes 
in  a  palace,  and  scores  of  bright-eyed  women  call  him  husband. 
His  deluded  followers  yield  him  implicit  obedience,  and  a 
•Church  organization  known  as  '  Danites '  or  'Destroying  An- 
gels,' stands  ready  to  protect  his  person,  or  avenge  his  wrongs, 
.and  to  execute  his  pleasure. 


"The  legislators  of  the  Territory  are  Mormons.  The  endow- 
ment oaths  bind  them  to  yield  an  implicit  obedience  to  Brigham, 
as  the  head  of  the  Church,  and  political  head  of  the  Territory. 
His  mandates  are  superior  to  all  law.  The  Mormons  are  fanat- 
ics ;  they  will  keep  their  oath  to  obey  him.  Did  not  their  relig- 
ion induce,  their  fears  would  compel  obedience,  for  the  ven- 
geance of  Brigham,  though  silent,  is  swift,  and  fearful  as  the 
horrors  of  death  can  make  it.  Mormon  punishment  for  Mor- 
mon apostasy  is  like  the  old  curse  of  former  Popes,  it  extends 
from  the  soles  of  the  feet  to  the  hairs  of  the  head.  It  sep- 
arates the  husband  from  the  wife ;  it  reaches  from  the 
confiscation  of  property  to  the  severance  of  the  windpipe. 
Armed  with  such  power  over  the  hearts  and  lives  of  the  people,. 
Brigham  defiantly  drives  the  barbaiic  chariot  of  Mormon  rob- 
bery, murder,  polygamy  and  incest  over  all  law,  in  defiance 
of  all  Federal  officials  in  the  Territory.  Brigham  not  only  con- 
trols the  legislation,  but  he  controls  the  courts.  He  uses  the 
one  to  aid  in  accomplishing  the  other. 

"As  one  of  the  Associate  Justices  of  the  Territory  of  Utah, 
in  the  month  of  April,  1859,  I  commenced  and  held  a  term  of 
the  District  Court  for  the  Second  Judicial  District,  in  the  city 
of  Provo,  about  sixty  miles  south  of  Salt  Lake  City.  General 
A.  S.  Johnston,  in  command  of  the  Military  Department,  fur- 
nished a  small  military  force  for  the  purpose  of  protecting  the 
Court.  A  Grand  Jury  was  impaneled,  and  their  attention  was 
pointedly  and  specifically  called  to  the  great  number  of  crimes 
that  had  been  committed  in  the  immediate  vicinity,  cases  of 
public  notoriety  both  as  to  the  offense  and  the  persons  who  had 
perpetrated  the  same  ;  for  none  of  these  things  had  '  been  done 
in  a  corner.'  Their  perpetrators  had  scorned  alike  conceal- 
ment or  apology  before  the  arrival  of  the  American  forces.  The 
Jury,  thus  instructed,  though  kept  in  session  two  weeks,  utterly 
refused  to  do  anything,  and  were  finally  discharged  as  an  evi- 
dently useless  appendage  to  a  court  of  justice.  But  the  Court 
was  determined  to  try  a  last  resource  to  bring  to  light  and  to 
punish  those  guilty  of  the  atrocious  crimes  which  had  been 
committed  in  the  Territory,  and  the  session  continued.  Bench 
warrants,  based  upon  sworn  information,  were  issued  against 
the  alleged  criminals,  and  United  States  Marshal  Dotson,  a  most 
excellent  and  reliable  officer,  aided  by  a  military  posse,  procured 
on  his  own  request,  had  succeeded  in  making  a  few  arrests.  A 
general  stampede  immediately  took  place  among  the  Mormons ; 
and  what  I  wish  to  call  your  attention  to  as  particularly  notice- 
able, is  the  fact'  that  this  occurred  more  especially  among  the 
Church  officials  and  civil  officers.  Why  were  these  classes  so 
peculiarly  urgent  and  hasty  in  flight?  The  law  of  evidence, 
based  on  the  experience  of  ages,  has  but  one  answer.  It  was- 

30  IZVTR  OD  UC  TOE  Y. 

the  consciousness  of  guilt  which  drove  them  to  seek  a  refuge 
from  the  avenging  arm  of  the  law,  armed  at  last,  as  they  sup- 
posed, with  power  to  "vindicate  its  injured  majesty.  It  is  a  well 
known  fact  that  many  of  the  bishops  and  presidents  of  '  Stakes ' 
remained  secreted  in  the  mountains  until  the  news  was  confirmed 
beyond  doubt,  which  announced  the  retrograde  course  of  the 
administration  at  Washington. 

*  *  *  Sitting  as  a  committing  magistrate,  com- 
plaint after  complaint  was  made  before  me  of  murders  and  rob- 
beries. Among  these  I  may  mention  as  peculiarly  and  shock- 
ingly prominent,  the  murder  of  Forbes,  the  assassination  of  the 
Parishes  and  Potter,  of  Jones  and  his  mother,  of  the  Aiken 
parcy,  of  which  there  were  six  in  all ;  and  worst  and  darkest  in 
this  appalling  catalogue  of  blood,  the  cowardly,  cold-blooded 
butchery  and  robbery  at  the  Mountain  Meadows.  At  that  time 
there  still  lay,  all  ghastly  under  the  sun  of  Utah,  the  unburied 
skeletons  of  one  hundred  and  nineteen  men,  women  and  chil- 
dren^the  hapless,  hopeless  victims  of  the  Mormon  creed." 

Judge  Cradlebaugh  then  gives  a  full  history  of  his  visit  to  the 
«cene  of  the  massacre  and  of  his  utter  failure  to  procure  the 
arrest  of  one  of  the  guilty  parties ;  and  also  gives  the  reasons 
why  the  Courts  were  powerless  to  bring  offenders  to  justice. 
.  y  After  giving  the  history  of  many  of  the  crimes  committed  by  the 
priestly  crew,  the  speech  closes  with  the  following  eloquent  sen- 

"  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  mass  of  the  Mormon  com- 
munity are  misled  in  their  errors  by  a  set  of  heartless,  fanati- 
cal leaders.  Their  success  may  be  much  attributed  to  their 
isolation.  That  isolation  the  fast  filling  up  of  the  Great  Basin, 
because  of  its  vast  mineral  deposits,  will  soon  do  away  with. 
Nevada  now  has  a  population  equal  to  Utah.  Thriving  towns 
and  cities  are  springing  up  on  the  Humboldt  river — and  in  near 
proximity  to  the  Mormons.  Brigham  sees  this,  and  he  knows 
and  feels  that  he  must  place  himself  in  a  position  to  prevent 
the  consequences  to  his  system  which  will  grow  out  of  this  con- 
tiguity of  settlement.  He  feels  that  he  cannot  keep  his  women 
where  they  have  a  chance  to  get  away,  unless  he  can  protect 
himself  by  legislation  further  than  he  is  able  to  do  while  his 
community  remains  under  the  general  jurisdiction  of  the  Gov- 
ernment. It  is  on  that  account  that  he  manifests  so  great  a 
desire  to  become  an  independent  State.  I  say  he  desires  to 
become  a  State,  for  under  his  tyrannical  sway,  and  with  the 
system  that  is  now  prevalent,  Brigham  would  be  the  State  and 
the  State  would  be  Brigham. 

"The  people  of  Utah  have  nothing  but  ill  will  towards  our 
government.  The  great  mass  know  nothing  of  our  institu- 


lions ;  they  came  to  Zion,  not  to  America.  They  are  hurried 
through  the  settled  portions  of  our  country  without  being  allow- 
ed to  become  acquainted  with  our  people  or  institutions.  Upon 
arriving  in  Utah  they  hear  nothing  but  abuse  of  our  people ;  the 
whole  fountain  of  patriotism  is  polluted,  and  they  are  taught 
that  they  owe  neither  allegiance  nor  love  to  our  government. 
Treason  and  insubordination  are  openly  taught.  God  forbid 
that  this  people  should  be  admitted  into  the  Union  as  an  inde- 
pendent State  ;  I  protest  against  it  in  the  name  of  humanity, 
which  it  would  violate  by  the  admission ;  I  protest  against  it  on 
behalf  of  my  constituents,  who  have  a  deep  interest  in  the  in- 
stitutions that  are  to  prevail  in  the  great  American  Basin ;  I 
protest  against  it  in  the  name  and  on  behalf  of  the  murdered 
victims  of  the  cruel  Mormon  faith,  whose  mouldering  bones  are 
bleaching  in  almost  every  valley  in  the  Territory ;  I  protest 
against  it  on  behalf  of  the  downtrodden  and  undone  women 
of  Utah,  who,  with  their  female  posterity,  in  all  time  to 
come,  will  bless  those  that  would  not  aid  in  keeping  them  in 

The  foregoing  is,  in  my  judgment,  sufficient  to  show  what 
Mormonism  was,  and  the  influences  that  were  brought  to  bear 
upon  the  citizens  of  Utah  at  the  time  of  the  commission  of  the 

The  Territory  was  practically  without  courts  of  justice  from 
1857  until  after  the  passage  of  the  "  Poland  Bill,"  since  which 
time  the  Federal  officers  in  Utah  have  made  great  and  praise- 
worthy exertions  to  enforce  the  laws  in  the  Territory. 


The  Second  District  Court  convened  in  Beaver  City,  Utah 
Territory,  on  the  seventh  day  of  September,  A.  D.  1874.  A 
grand  jury  was  summoned  for  the  7th  of  September,  but  the 
panel  was  not  completed  until  the  9th  of  September.  This  was 
the  first  grand  jury  under  the  Poland  Bill.  This  was  the  first 
term  of  this  court  at  which  a  Federal  or  Gentile  officer  had 
charge  of  the  grand  jury. 

This  grand  jury  consisted  of  fifteen  men,  ten  Gentiles,  four 
Mormons,  and  one  Apostate. 

Wm.  Stokes  and  B.  L.  Duncan  rendered  efficient  service  in 
procuring  witnesses  to  go  before  this  grand  jury. 

This  grand  jury  was  in  session  from  the  9th  to  the  25th  day  of 
September,  1874.  The  indictment  against  John  D.  Lee  and 
others,  charging  them  with  the  crime  of  murder  at  the  Moun- 
tain Meadows,  was  returned  into  court  on  the  24th  day  of 

32  IlfTR  OD  UCTOIi  Y. 

September,  1874.  Twenty-eight  indictments  for  various  crimes 
were  found  and  returned  by  this  jury.  D.  P.  Whedon,  Esq., 
acted  as  deputy  United  States  Attorney,  and  drew  all  the  in- 
dictments presented  at  that  term  of  court.  Great  credit  is  due 
to  Judge  Whedon  for  the  able  manner  in  which  he  discharged 
his  duty  while  acting  as  deputy  United  States  Attorney  in  Utah. 

Hon.  Jacob  S.  Boreman  was  the  Presiding  Judge  during  all 
of  the  time  since  1874,  in  that  district. 

General  George  R.  Maxwell,  the  United  States  Marshal  for 
Utah,  was  an  efficient  officer.  He  resigned  his  position  after  the 
first  trial  of  Lee,  and  was  succeeded  by  Colonel  William  Nelson, 
the  present  United  States  Marshal  for  Utah. 

James  R.  Wilkins,  the  clerk  of  the  court,  is  an  affable,  edu- 
cated gentleman,  in  every  way  qualified  for  his  position. 

Hon.  William  Carey,  United  States  Attorney,  who  prosecuted 
at  the  first  trial,  was  succeeded  by  Hon.  Sumner  Howard,  who 
secured  a  conviction  of  Lee,  by  beating  the  Mormons  at  their 
own  game  of  trickery. 

At  the  first  trial,  a  jury  was  sworn  to  try  the  case  on  the  24th> 
day  of  July,  1875. 

The  prosecution  was  conducted  by  William  Carey,  United 
States  Attorne}7  for  Utah,  D.  P.  Whedon,  deputy  United  Stales 
Attorney,  R.  N.  Boskin,  Presley  Denney,  Charles  H.  Swift 
and  C.  M.  Hawley. 

The  defendant  was  represented  by  J.  G.  Sutherland,  E.  D. 
Hoge,  Wells  Spicer,  John  McFarland  and  Wm.  W.  Bishop. 

After  several  days  of  legal  strife,  the  case  was  given  to  the 
jury,  and  failing  to  agree  (nine  being  for  Not  Guilty,  and  three 
being  for  Guilty),  the  jury  were  discharged  and  the  case  con- 

At  the  succeeding  May  term  of  the  Court,  the  prosecution 
being  without  money  to  carry  on  the  case,  or  procure  witnesses, 
and  the  defendant  insisting  upon  a  trial,  the  court  admitted  him 
to  bail  in  the  sum  of  ten  thousand  dollars,  which  bail  was  at  once 
given,  and  Lee  was  then  discharged  from  custody,  and  remain- 
ed at  liberty  until  a  few  days  before  the  commencement  of  the 
second  trial,  at  which  time  he  was  surrendered  to  the  court  by 
his  Mormon  bondsmen,  they  having  been  ordered  by  the  Church 
authorities  to  withdraw  all  assistance  and  sympathy  from  John 
D.  Lee,  as  he  had  been  selected  as  a  victim  to  shoulder  the  sins 
of  the  people  of  the  Mormon  Church.  Daniel  H.  Wells  was  pres- 

INTB  OD  UC  TOE  Y.  33 

ent  in  person  at  Beaver,  to  see  that  the  treachery  of  the  Mor- 
mon leaders  was  completely  carried  out. 

September  14,  1876,  a  jury  was  empaneled  to  try  the  case 
the  second  time.  Twelve  jurymen  were  found  who  were  con- 
sidered safe  by  the  Church  authorities,  and  all  other  parties 
concerned,  and  the  trial  commenced.  The  attorneys  for  the 
defendant  had  been  furnished  a  list  of  the  jurymen,  and  the  list 
was  examined  by  a  committee  of  Mormons,  who  marked  those 
who  would  convict  with  a  dash  ( — ),  those  who  would  rather 
not  convict  with  a  star  (*),  and  those  who  were  certain  to 
acquit  John  D.  Lee,  under  all  circumstances,  with  two  stars 
(**).  It  is  sufficient  on  that  subject  to  simply  say,  all  the  jury- 
men accepted  were  marked  with  the  two  stars  in  the  list, 
and  they  acted  as  the  Church  directed — they  convicted !  As  a 
matter  of  explanation,  I  may  be  pardoned  for  saying  that  the 
Mormons,  who  gave  us  the  list  so  marked,  had  shown  it  to  How- 
ard before  they  gave  it  to  us,  and  informed  him  that  he  had 
nothing  to  fear!  The  law  and  evidence,  and  also  Brigham 
Young  and  the  Mormon  Church,  were  then  all  against  Lee, 
hence  his  conviction  was  a  foregone  conclusion.  The  evidence 
is  given  in  full  in  the  body  of  this  work,  and  speaks  for  itself. 

The  jury  brought  in  a  verdict  of  guilty  of  murder  in  the  first 
degree,  and  the  Court  passed  sentence  of  death  upon  Lee.  The 
case  was  appealed  to  the  Supreme  Court  of  Utah  Territory,  and 
the  judgment  of  the  District  Court  affirmed.  Lee  was  again 
taken  to  Beaver  and  sentenced  to  be  shot.  The  sentence  was 
carried  into  effect  on  the  23d  day  of  March,  A.  D.  1877. 

At  the  last  trial  the  prosecution  was  conducted  by  Sumner 
Howard,  U.  S.  Attorney  for  Utah,  and  Presley  Denney,  Deputy 
U.  S.  Attorney. 

The  defendant  was  represented*  by  Wells  Spicer,  J.  C.  Foster 
and  W.  W.  Bishop. 

After  John  D.  Lee  had  been  convicted,  he  consented  to  make 
a  full  confession  of  all  that  he  knew  concerning  the  Mountain 
Meadows  Massacre,  and  at  his  request  I  assisted  him  in  writing 
up  the  confession.  He  then  made  an  assignment  of  all  his 
writings  to  me,  and  requested  me  to  publish  the  same.  I  have 
over  one  thousand  pages  of  his  manuscripts  and  writings,  in  his 
own  handwriting.  I  have  corrected  the  same  as  I  have  seen  fit, 
by  correcting  the  spelling  and  punctuation ;  otherwise  I  give  the 
writings  and  confessions  in  the  exact  language  of  John  D.  Loe. 

34  -LVT.K  OD  UC  TOE  T. 

Several  persons  having  made  claim  to  the  possession  of  the  true 
confession  of  Lee,  I  can  only  say  that  what  I  have  published 
\vas  given  to  me  by  him  for  the  purpose  of  publication,  and  that 
he  insisted  up  to  the  moment  of  his  execution  his  statements 
were  true. 

As  my  authority  for  publishing  his  life  and  confessions,  I  give 
the  following  letter,  which  he  wrote  to  me,  and  which,  with 
others  that  I  have  since  received  from  him,  and  still  retain,  give 
me  the  sole  right  to  publish  his  writings.  The  letter  reads  as 
follows : 

"W.  W.  BISHOP: 

"  Dear  Sir — Having  acted  for  me  as  one  of  my  Attorneys,  and 
having  in  all  respects  done  your  utmost  for  my  acquittal  and 
interest  generally ;  now  that  I  am  awaiting  sentence  of  death 
on  the  charge  of  having  aided  in  the  Mountain  Meadows  Massa- 
cre, in  case  of  my  death,  or  final  imprisonment,  I  wish  you  to 
still  continue  my  counsel  and  friend,  and  as  such  to  publish  to 
tfte  world  the  history  of  my  life  and  of  my  connection  with  the 
affair  for  which  I  have  been  tried.  You  are  familar  with  the  facts, 
and  have  my  statements,  which  are  true.  My  journals  and  private 
papers  will  be  furnished  you  by  my  family,  the  same  to  be  re- 
turned when  examined.  Injustice  to  myself,  and  to  my  family, 
I  wish  you  to  publish  the  true  history  of  my  life.  After  the 
expenses  are  paid  for  the  publication,  I  expect  you  to  divide 
the  profits  arising  therefrom  with  my  family.  Charging  you 
with  this  sacred  trust,  and  by  reason  of  my  own  inability  to  pub- 
lish my  life,  by  reason  of  imprisonment,  I  urge  you  to  carry  out 
this  my  request.  "Your  true  friend  and  no  mistake, 

The  Mountain  Meadows  are  situated  in  Washington  County, 
Utah  Territory,  and  between  the  seventh  and  eight  parallels  of 
south  latitude,  from  Salt  Lake  meridian.  If  the  government 
survey  was  extended  over  that  portion  of  Utah  Territory,  then 
the  particular  portion  of  the  Meadows  where  the  massacre  was 
committed,  would  be  within  the  limits  of  township  thirty-seven, 
south  of  range  twelve  west.  The  monument,  erected  at  the  place 
of  the  massacre,  is  three  hundred  and  twenty  miles  south-west 
from  Salt  Lake  City,  by  road  measure,  as  the  road  ran  in 
1857.  A  line  extended  two  hundred  miles  due  south,  from  Salt 
Lake  City,  and  then  run,  at  ri^ht  angles,  seventy-five  miles  due 

INTR  OD  UC  TOE  Y  35 

west,  would  terminate  at  the  monument.  The  Meadows  are 
thirty-six  miles  south-west  of  Cedar  City,  where  the  massacre 
was  finally  planned  by  Haight,  Higby,  Klingensmith  and  the 
Mormon  authorities  then  in  council. 

At  the  time  of  the  massacre,  if  the  evidence  of  the  varopire^ 
who  acted  as  Church  slaves  to  secure  the  conviction  of  Lee  are 
to  be  believed,  the  Meadows  were  covered  with  an  abundance  of 
rank,  nutritious  grasses,  and  was  a  beautiful,  smiling  spot  of 
€arth,  inviting  the  beholder  to  rest  and  repose. 

Now  it  is  an  arid  waste,  with  but  little  vegetation  upon  its 
plains.  The  springs,  once  furnishing  a  bounteous  supply  of  wa- 
ter, are  now  comparatively  dry  and  wasted  away.  The  Mead- 
ows are  such  only  in  name ;  all  that  gave  them  beauty  has  long 
since  faded  and  gone.  They  lie  there  as  one  of  the  cursed  spots 
of  earth ;  surrounded  by  desolation  so  intense  that  a  fanatic, 
seeking  death  in  order  to  escape  from  the  troubles  of  this  sin- 
cursed  earth;  seeking  death  in  order  to  obtain  the  CELESTIAL  re- 
ward offered  by  some  self-styled  apostle,  anxious  to  give  up  life 
at  once,  and  try  the  realities  of  the  hereafter,  would  forego  his 
promised  joys  and  dwell  in  this  land  of  sorrow,  for  a  season, 
rather  than  lay  down  the  body  that  he  was  so  anxious  to  sepa- 
'rate  from,  and  leave  it  to  moulder  upon  the  unsightly  spot  where 
so  much  of  wrong  has  been  clone  in  the  name  of  religion.  Mor- 
mon tradition  informs  us  that  the  ghosts  of  the  slaughtered  emi- 
grants meet  nightly  at  the  springs,  and  with  phantom-like  still- 
ness, but  with  perfectness  of  detail,  act  over  in  pantomime  the 
<;ruelities  and  horrors  connected  with  the  massacre. 

I  acknowledge  myself  greatly  indebted  to  D.  P.  Whedon, 
Esq.,  Hon.  Wm.  Nelson,  Wm.  Stokes,  Esq.,  John  Ward  Chris- 
tian, Esq.,  General  George  R.  Maxwell,  Hon.  Sumner  Howard, 
A.  S.  Patterson,  Esq.,  and  the  Salt  Lake  Tribune  Publishing 
Company  for  many  favors  extended  to  me  by  them,  in  furnish- 
ing me  with  valuable  documents  for  use  in  the  work  of  compil- 
ing this  manuscript  for  publication. 

I  also  acknowledge  myself  under  many  obligations  to  Col. 
Geo.  M.  Sabin,  of  Pioche,  Nevada,  for  his  valuable  services 
rendered  me  in  the  preparation  of  this  work  for  the  press. 

I  have  now  kept  faith  with  my  unfortunate  client,  and  feel 
that  I  have  also  performed  a  duty  that  I  owed  to  myself  and 
the  country.  WM.  W.  BISHOP. 

PIOCHE,  NEVADA,  May  17th,  1877. 



IN  JUSTICE  to  myself,  my  numerous  family,  and  the  publie 
in  general,  I  consider  it  my  duty  to  write  a  history  of  my 
life.  I  shall  content  myself  with  giving  facts,  and  let  the  readers- 
draw  their  own  conclusion  therefrom.  By  the  world  at  large,  I 
am  called  a  vile  criminal,  and  have  been  sentenced  to  be  shot 
for  deeds  committed  by  myself  and  others,  nearly  twenty  years 
ago.  I  never  willingly  committed  a  crime.  /  have  acted  my- 
religion,  nothing  more.  I  have  obeyed  the  orders  of  the  Church. 
I  have  acted  as  I  was  commanded  to  do  by  my  superiors,  and  if 
I  have  committed  acts  that  justify  my  execution,  I  ask  my 
readers  to  say  what  should  be  the  fate  of  the  leaders  in  the- 
Church  who  taught  me  to  believe  that  I  could  not  and  would 
not  commit  sin  while  obeying  orders  of  the  priesthood?  My 
sins,  if  any,  are  the  result  of  doing  what  I  was  commanded  to  do> 
by  those  who  were  my  superiors  in  authority  in  the  Church  of 
Jesus  Christ  of  Latter-day  Saints.  I  will  now  give  the  facts 
which  relate  to  my  own  history,  and  leave  it  to  others  to  say 
how  I  should  have  acted — how  they  would  have  acted  if  situa- 
ted as  I  was. 

I  was  born  on  the  6th  day  of  September,  A.  D.  1812,  in  the 
town  of  Kaskaskia,  Randolph  County,  Illinois.  My  father,  Ralph 
Lee,  was  born  in  the  State  of  Virginia.  He  was  of  the  family  of 
Lees  of  Revolutionary  fame,  and  was  a  relative  of  General 
Robert  E.  Lee,  of  the  late  war ;  he  served  his  time  as  an  ap- 
prentice and  learned  the  carpenter's  trade  in  the  city  of  Balti- 
more. My  mother  was  born  in  Nashville,  Tennessee.  She  was 
the  daughter  of  John  Doyle,  who  for  man}'  years  held  the  posi- 
tion of  Indian  Agent  over  the  roving  tribes  of  Indians  in  south- 
eastern Illinois.  He  served  in  the  war  of  the  Revolution,  and 
was  wounded  in  one  of  the  many  battles  in  which  he  took  part 
with  the  Sons  of  Liberty  against  the  English  oppressors.  About 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  37 

the  year  1796,  he  was  appointed  Indian  Agent,  and  moved  to 
Kaskaskia,  Illinois. 

My  mother  was  first  married  in  1799,  to  Oliver  Eeed,  and 
lived  with  him  until  he  was  assassinated  by  a  man  named  Jones, 
who  entered  the  house  when  the  family  were  asleep,  and 
striking  Reed  with  a  seat  of  a  loom,  knocked  his  brains  out,  at 
the  same  time  severely  wounding  my  half-sister,  Eliza  Virginia, 
then  six  months  old.  The  blow  and  the  screams  of  the  child 
awakened  my  mother,  who  sprang  from  the  bed,  and  recognizing 
the  assassin,  said,  "  For  God's  sake,  Jones,  spare  my  husband's 
life!"  Jones  said,  "You  know  me,  G — d — n  you!  you  shall  tell 
no  tales."  With  this,  he  caught  up  a  sugar  trough  and  struck  my 
mother  on  the  head  with  it.  The  blow  rendered  her  senseless. 
Jones,  believing  he  had  completed  his  work  of  death,  then  left 
the  house.  My  mother  soon  revived,  called  upon  the  neighbors 
for  assistance,  and  told  who  had  committed  the  murder.  Jones 
was  arrested,  convicted  and  afterwards  hung  for  the  crime. 
The  injuries  received  by  my  mother,  from  the  blow  struck  by 
Jones,  affected  her  all  the  rest  of  her  life. 

After  the  death  of  Reed,  my  mother  went  back  to  Kaskaskia 
a,nd  lived  in  her  father's  family  until  she  married  my  father  in 
the  year  1808".  My  mother  had  two  children  by  my  father — that 
is,  William  Oliver  and  myself.  My  brother,  William  Oliver,  died 
when  about  two  years  old.  At  the  time  of  my  birth  my  father 
was  considered  one  of  the  leading  men  of  that  section  of  country ; 
he  was  a  master  workman,  sober  and  attentive  to  business, 
prompt  and  punctual  to  his  engagements.  He  contracted  largely 
and  carried  on  a  heavy  business ;  he  erected  a  magnificent  man- 
sion, for  that  age  and  country,  on  his  land  adjoining  the  town 
of  Kaskaskia.  This  tract  of  land  was  the  property  of  my  mother 
when  she  married  my  father.  My  grandfather  Doyle  was  a 
wealthy  man.  He  died  in  1809  at  Kaskaskia,  Illinois,  and  left  his 
whole  fortune  to  my  mother  and  her  sister  Charlotte,  by  will. 
They  being  his  only  children,  he  divided  the  property  equally 
between  them. 

My  father  and  mother  were  both  Catholics,  were  raised  in  that 
faith ;  I  was  christened  in  that  Church.  William  Morrison  and 
Louise  Phillips  stood  as  my  representative  god-father  and  god- 
mother. It  is  from  that  Church  record  that  I  could  alone  obtain 
the  facts  and  date  that  referred  to  my  birth. 

When  about  one  year  old,  my  mother  being  sick,  I  was  sent 


to  a  French  nurse,  a  negro  woman.  At  this  time  my  sister  Eliza 
was  eleven  years  old,  but  young  as  she  was  she  had  to  care  for 
iny  mother  and  do  all  the  work  of  the  household.  To  add  to  the 
misfortune,  my  father  began  to  drink  heavily  and  was  soon  very 
dissipated ;  drinking  and  gambling  was  his  daily  occupation. 
The  interest  and  care  of  his  family  was  no  longer  a  duty  with 
him  ;  his  presence  was  seldom  seen  to  cheer  and  comfort  his 
lonely,  afflicted  wife.  The  house  was  one  mile  from  town,  and 
we  had  no  neighbors  nearer  than  that.  The  neglect  and  indif- 
ference on  the  part  of  my  father  towards  my  afflicted  mother, 
served  to  increase  her  anguish  and  sorrow,  until  death  came  to 
her  relief.  My  mother's  death  left  us  miserable  indeed ;  we  were 
(my  sister  and  I)  thrown  upon  the  wide  world,  helpless,  and  I 
might  say,  without  father  or  mother.  My  father  when  free  from 
the  effects  of  intoxicating  drink,  was  a  kind-hearted,  generous, 
noble  man,  but  from  that  time  forward  he  was  a  slave  to  drink — 
seldom  sober. 

M}T  aunt  Charlotte  was  a  regular  spit-fire ;  she  was  married  to 
a  man  by  the  name  of  James  Conner,  a  Kentuckian  by  birth. 
They  lived  ten  miles  north  of  us.  My  sister  went  to  live  with 
her  aunt,  but  the  treatment  she  received  was  so  brutal  that  the 
citizens  complained  to  the  county  commissioners, -and  she  was 
Taken  away  from  her  aunt  and  bound  out  to  Dr.  Fisher,  with 
whose  family  she  lived  until  she  became  of  age.  In  the  mean- 
time the  Doctor  moved  to  the  city  of  Vandalia,  Illinois.  I  re- 
mained with  my  nurse  until  I  was  eight  years  of  age,  when  I  was 
taken  to  my  aunt  Charlotte's,  to  be  educated.  I  had  been  in  a 
family  which  talked  French  so  long  that  I  had  nearly  lost  all 
knowledge  of  my  mother  tongue.  The  children  at  school  called 
me  Gumbo,  and  teased  me  so  much  that  I  became  disgusted  with 
the  French  language  and  tried  to  forget  it — which  has  been  a 
disadvantage  to  me  since  that  time. 

My  aunt  was  rich  in  her  own  right.  My  uncle  Conner  wa& 
poor ;  he  drank  and  gambled  and  wasted  her  fortune ;  she  in  re- 
turn gave  him  thunder  and  blixen  all  the  time.  The  more  she 
scolded,  the  worse  he  acted,  until  they  would  fight  like  cats  and 
dogs.  Between  them  I  was  treated  worse  than  an  African  slave. 
I  lived  in  the  family  eight  years,  and  can  safely  say  I  got  a 
whipping  every  day  I  was  there.  My  life  was  one  of  misery  and 
wretchedness ;  and  if  it  had  not  been  for  my  strong  religious 
convictions,  I  certainly  would  have  committed  suicide,  to  have 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  39 

escaped  from  the  miserable  condition  I  was  in.  I  then  believed, 
as  I  do  still,  that  for  the  crime  of  suicide  there  was  no  forgive- 
ness in  this  world,  or  that  which  is  to  come.  My  aunt  was  more 
like  a  savage  than  a  civilized  woman.  In  her  anger  she  gener- 
ally took  her  revenge  upon  those  around  her  who  were  the  least 
to  blame.  She  would  strike  with  anything  she  could  obtain, 
with  which  to  work  an  injury.  I  have  been  knocked  down  and 
beaten  by  her  until  I  was  senseless,  scores  of  times,  and  I  yet 
carry  many  scars  on  my  person,  the  result  of  my  harsh  usage  by 

My  experience  in  childhood  made  a  lasting  impression  up  A\ 
me  ;  the  horrors  of  a  contentious  family  have  haunted  me  through 
life.  I  then  resolved  in  my  mind  that  I  would  never  subject  my- 
self to  sorrow  and  misery  as  my  uncle  had  done.  I  would  irarry 
for  love,  and  not  for  riches.  I  also  formed  the  resolution  that 
I  would  never  gamble  after  I  was  married,  and  I  have  kept  that 
resolution  since  I  was  a  married  man. 

Aunt  Charlotte  had  five  children,  four  girls  and  one  boy;  i.  e., 
Minerva  C.,  Amanda,  Eliza,  Maria  and  John  Edgar.  They,  as 
well  as  myself,  were  strangers  to  the  affections  of  a  mother,  and 
the  pleasures  of  a  home. 

When  I  was  sixteen  years  old,  I  concluded  to  leave  my  aunt's 
house — I  cannot  call  it  home ;  my  friends  advised  me  to  do  BO. 
I  walked  one  night  to  Kaskaskia;  went  to  Robert  Morrison  and 
told  him  my  story.  He  was  a  mail  contractor.  He  clothed  me 
comfortably,  and  sent  me  over  the  Mississippi  river  into  Missouri, 
to  carry  the  mail  from  St.  Genevieve  to  Pinckney,  on  the  north 
side  of  the  Missouri  River,  via  Potosi,  a  distance  of  one  hundred 
and  twenty-seven  miles.  It  was  a  weekly  mail.  I  was  to  receive 
seven  dollars  a  month  for  my  services.  This  was  in  December, 
1828.  It  was  a  severe  winter ;  snow  unusually  deep,  and  roads 
bad.  I  was  often  until  two  o'clock  at  night  in  reaching  my  sta- 
tions. In  the  following  Spring  I  came  near  losing  my  life  on 
several  occasions  when  swimming  the  streams,  which  were  then 
generally  over  their  banks.  The  Meramec  was  the  worse 
stream  I  had  to  cross,  but  I  escaped  danger,  and  gave  satisfac- 
tion to  my  employer.  At  my  request,  I  was  changed,  in  the 
Spring  of  1829,  to  the  route  from  Kaskaskia  to  Vandalia,  Illinois, 
the  then  capital  of  the  State ;  the  route  went  by  Covington  and 
Carlisle.  This  was  also  :i  weekly  route  ;  the  distance  was  about 
one  hundred  miles,  and  I  had  eighteen  hours  in  which  to  make 

40  MOBM01H821  UNVEILED. 

the  trip.  While  I  was  carrying  the  mail  in  Missouri,  I  got  a  let- 
ter from  my  sister,  informing  me  of  her  marriage  to  Josiah 
Nichols,  a  nephew  of  Barker  Berry,  the  sheriff  of  Fayette  coun- 
ty, Illinois,  and  inviting  me  to  visit  them.  Nichols  was  a 
wealthy  man,  and  lived  sixteen  miles  north  of  Vandalia.  I  had 
not  met  my  sister  for  many  years,  so  I  concluded  to  visit  her. 
This  was  one  reason  why  I  wished  to  be  put  on  the  Vandalia 
route.  One  day,  when  I  arrived  at  Vandalia,  I  did  not  find 
the  post-master  in  the  post-office.  I  could  not  find  him.  so  I  left 
the  mail  at  the  post-office  door,  and  rode  up  to  my  brother-in- 
law's  house.  I  had  a  pleasant  visit  there,  and  returned  the  next 
morning  to  carry  the  mail  back  to  Kaskaskia.  The  post-master, 
not  knowing  where  I  was,  had  sent  another  person  with  the  mail, 
at  my  expense.  It  cost  me  $  15.00 — a  little  over  ray  wages  for 
two  months.  I  returned  to  Kaskaskia,  where  my  employer  re- 
ceived me  kindly,  and  laughed  at  my  mishap.  I  agreed  to  pay 
all  damages  if  he  would  change  me  to  another  route,  for  I  could 
not  consent  to  return  again  to  the  scene  of  my  failure.  My  em- 
ployer kindly  gave  me  the  place  as  stage  driver  from  Kaskaskia 
to  Shawneetown,  on  the  Ohio  river.  The  route  ran  by  Pinkney- 
ville  and  Gallatin ;  and  it  was  one  hundred  and  twent}7  miles  in 
length,  through  a  thinly  settled  country.  I  drove  on  that  line 
about  one  month,  when  I  commenced  driving  stage  from  Kas- 
kaskia to  Belleville.  In  traveling  this  route,  I  passed  by  my  aunt 
Charlotte  Conner's  place.  Uncle  Conner  had  then  gone  to  the 
lead  mines  at  Galena.  When  my  aunt  and  cousins  saw  me,  they 
all  begged  me  to  return  and  live  with  them.  They  made  great 
promises  of  kindness,  and  I  was  finally  persuaded  to  agree  to 
return,  and  live  in  the  family.  I  soon  quit  the  stage-driving 
business  and  returned  to  my  aunt's. 

All  I  know  of  my  father,  after  I  was  eight  years  of  age,  is, 
that  he  went  to  Texas  in  the  year  1820,  and  I  have  never  heard 
of  him  since.  What  his  fate  was  I  never  knew. 

When  my  mother  died,  my  uncle  and  aunt  Conner  took  all 
the  property — a  large  tract  of  land,  several  slaves,  household 
and  kitchen  furniture,  and  all ;  and,  as  I  had  no  guardian,  I  never 
received  any  portion  of  the  property ;  in  fact  I  was  robbed  of  all. 
The  slaves  were  set  free  by  an  act  of  the  Legislature  ;  the  land 
was  sold  for  taxes,  and  was  hardly  worth  redeeming  when  I 
came  of  age  ;  so  I  sold  my  interest  in  all  the  land  that  had  be- 
lon^ed  to  my  mother,  and  made  a  quit-claim  deed  to  it  to  Sidney 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  41 

Breeze,  a  lawyer  of  Kaskaskia,  in  consideration  of  $200.  My 
sister,  by  the  kindness  of  Dr.  Fisher,  her  guardian,  received  a 
much  greater  price  for  her  interest  in  the  land  than  I  did. 

I  was  born  on  the  point  of  land  lying  between  and  above  the 
mouth  of  the  Okaw  or  Kaskaskia  river  and  the  Mississippi  river, 
in  what  is  known  as  the  Great  American  Bottom — the  particular 
point  I  refer  to  was  then  called  Zeal-no-waw,  the  Island  of  Nuts. 
It  was  nineteen  miles  from  the  point  of  the  bluffs  to  the  mouth 
of  the  Okaw  river;  ten  miles  wide  up  at  the  bluffs  and  tapering 
to  a  point  where  the  rivers  united.  Large  bands  of  wild  horses, 
French  ponies  called  "punt"  horses,  were  to  be  found  any  day 
feeding  on  the  evergreen  and  nutritious  grasses  and  vegetation. 
Cattle  and  hogs  were  also  running  wild  in  great  numbers ;  every 
kind  of  game,  large  and  small,  could  be  had  with  little  exertion. 
The  streams  were  full  of  fish;  the  forests  contained  many 
varieties  of  timber;  nuts,  berries,  and  wild  fruits  of  every  de- 
scription, found  in  the  temperate  zone,  could  be  had  in  their 
season.  This  point  of  land  is  one  of  the  finest  on  the  globe ; 
there  I  spent  my  early  years ;  there  I  had  pleasures  and  sorrows  ; 
there  I  met  the  maiden  that  first  taught  me  love's  young  dream. 
Near  by  was  the  Kaskaskia  Reservation  of  the  Kaskaskia 
Indians,  Louis  DuQuoin  was  Chief  of  the  tribe.  He  had  a  frame 
house  painted  in  bright  colors,  but  he  never  would  farm  an}-, 
game  being  so  plentiful  he  had  no  need  to  labor.  Nearly  all  the 
settlers  were  French,  and  not  very  anxious  for  education  or  im- 
provement of  any  kind.  I  was  quite  a  lad  before  I  ever  saw  a 
wagon,  carriage,  set  of  harness,  or  a  ring,  a  staple  or  set  of 
bows  to  an  ox  yoke.  The  first  wagon  I  ever  saw  was  brought 
into  that  county  by  a  Yankee  peddler ;  his  outfit  created  as  great 
an  excitement  in  the  settlement  as  the  first  locomotive  did  in 
Utah;  the  people  flocked  in  from  every  quarter  to  see  the 
Yankee  wagon.  Every  thing  in  use  in  that  country  was  of  the 
most  simple  and  primitive  construction.  There  were  no  saw 
mills  or  grist  mills  in  that  region ;  sawed  lumber  was  not  in  the 
country.  The  wagons  were  two-wheeled  carts  made  entirely  of 
wood — not  a  particle  of  iron  about  them — the  hubs  were  of  white 
elm,  spokes  of  white  oak  or  hickory,  the  felloes  of  black  walnut, 
as  it  was  soft  and  would  bear  rounding.  The  felloes  were  made 
six  inches  thick,  and  were  strongly  dowelled  together  with 
seasoned  hardwood  pins  ;  the  linch  pin  was  of  hickory  or  ash  ; 
the  thills  were  wood  ;  in  fact  all  of  it  was  wood.  The  harness 

4i  JtvliJIOXlzJl  US  VEILED. 

consisted  of  a  corn  husk  collar,  hames  cut  from  an  ash  tree  root, 
or  from  an  oak ;  tugs  were  raw  hide ;  the  lines  also  were  raw 
hide  ;  a  hackamere  or  halter  was  used  in  place  of  a  bridle  ;  one 
horse  was  lashed  between  the  thills  .by  raw  hide  straps  and  pins 
in  the  thills  for  a  hold  back ;  when  two  horses  were  used,  the 
second  horse  was  fastened  ahead  of  the  first  by  straps  fastened 
on  to  the  thills  of  the  cart. 

Oxen  were  yoked  as  follows :  A  square  stick  of  timber  of  suf- 
ficient length  was  taken  and  hollowed  out  at  the  ends  to  fit  on 
the  neck  of  the  ox,  close  up  to  the  horns,  and  this  was  fastened 
by  raw  hide  straps  to  the  horns.  All  other  implements  were 
made  in  an  equally  primitive  manner.  The  people  were  of  ne- 
cessity self-sustaining,  for  thej'  were  forced  to  depend  upon  their 
own  resources  for*  every  thing  they  used.  Clothing  was  made  of 
home  manufactured  cloth  or  the  skins  of  wild  animals.  Im- 
ported articles  were  procured  at  heavy  cost,  and  but  few  found 
their  way  to  our  settlements.  Steamboats  and  railroads  were 
then  unthought  of,  by  us  at  least,  and  the  navigation  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi was  carried  on  in  small  boats,  that  could  be  drawn  up 
along  the  river  bank  by  means  of  oars,  spikes,  poles  and  hooks. 
The  articles  most  in  demand  in  the  settlements  were  axes,  hoes, 
cotton  cards,  hatchels  for  cleaning  flax,  hemp  and  cotton,  spin- 
ning wheels,  knives  and  ammunition,  guns  and  bar  shears  for 
plows.  In  exchange  for  such  goods  the  people  traded  beef, 
hides,  furs,  tallow,  beeswax,  houej*,  etc.  Money  was  not  needed 
or  used  by  any  one — everything  was  trade  and  barter. 

The  people  were  generous  and  brave.  Their  pleasures  and 
pastimes  were  those  usual  in  frontier  settlements.  They  were 
hardy,  and  well  versed  in  woodcraft.  Thej7  aided  each  other, 
and  were  all  in  all  a  noble  class  of  people,  possessing  many  vir- 
tues and  few  faults.  The  girls  were  educated  by  their  mothers 
to  work,  and  had  to  work.  It  was  then  a  disgrace  for  a  young 
woman  not  to  know  how  to  take  the  raw  material — the  flax  and 
cotton — and,  unaided,  manufacture  her  own  clothing.  It  is  a 
lamentable  fact  that  such  is  no  longer  the  case. 



A  FTER  I  settled  up  with  my  employer  and  drew  my  wages 
-£A-  I  had  but  little  money  left.  But  I  had  learned  one  good 
lesson:  that  men  who  will  lead  you  into  trouble  will  seldom 
stand  by  you  to  get  you  out  of  it.  I  then  knew  that  a  soft 
answer  turned  away  wrath,  and  I  also  found  out  that  a  man 
should  never  spend  money  that  he  had  not  earned.  So  I  de- 
termined to  live  within  my  income  from  that  time  forward,  to  be 
prompt  and  punctual  to  all  my  engagements ;  making  my  word 
my  honor  and  my  bond.  These  rules  I  incorporated  into  my 
creed  and  tried  hard  to  reduce  them  to  practice. 

I  formed  a  liking  for  Emily  Conner,  the  daughter  of  Henry 
Conner,  when  we  were  quite  young.  Her  father  was  Marshal  of 
the  State  of  Illinois,  under  Ninian  Edwards,  the  Governor  of  the 
State.  Emily  was  an  orphan,  and  lived  for  about  four  years  at 
my  aunt  Charlotte's  after  her  mother  died,  and  until  her  father 
married  again.  She  had  a  consoling  word  for  me  at  all  times 
when  I  was  in  trouble.  From  being  friends,  we  became  lovers 
and  were  engaged  to  be  married,  when  my  circumstances  would 
permit.  The  year  after  I  quit  driving  stage,  I  raised  a  large 
crop  of  grain  on  my  aunt's  farm,  but  she  did  not  think  I  was 
entitled  to  any  pay  for  it.  This,  after  her  fine  promises,  was- 
rather  disheartening,  but  I  bore  it  without  complaining.  My 
uncle  Conner  returned  home  that  Fall,  and  was  much  pleased 
to  see  me  back  on  the  farm  again,  and  by  his  influence  I  was 
well  treated  the  remainder  of  the  Fall  and  Winter.  That  Winter 
I  went  to  a  school  for  three  months.  Early  in  the  Spring  the 
Indian  war,  known  as  the  Black  Hawk  war,  broke  out,  and  vol- 
unteers were  called  for.  I  enrolled  myself  at  the  first  call,  in 
the  company  of  Captain  Jacob  Feaman,  of  Kaskaskia.  My 
uncle  Conner  was  First  Lieutenant  in  the  same  company.  The 
company  was  ordered  to  rendezvous  at  Fort  Armstrong,  Rock 
Island,  where  the  troops  were  reorganized,  and  Capt.  Feaman 


was  promoted  to  Colonel,  and  James  Conner  became  Captain  of 
the  company.  I  served  until  the  end  of  the  war,  and  was  en- 
gaged in  many  skirmishes,  and  lastly  was  at  the  battle  of  Bad 
Axe,  which  I  think  took  place  on  the  4th  day  of  August,  A.  D. 
1831,  but  am  not  certain  as  to  the  date. 

The  soldiers  were  allowed  to  go  home  about  the  first  of  Sep- 
tember, 1831.  Our  company  got  to  Kaskaslda,  and  were  dis- 
charged, I  think,  on  the  first  of  September,  1831.  I  got  back  to 
my  uncle's  with  a  broken-down  horse  and  worn-out  clothing, 
and  without  money.  During  that  month  I  concluded  to  seek  a 
more  genial  clime,  one  where  I  could  more  rapidly  better  my 
financial  condition.  I  went  to  see  and  talk  with  Emily,  the 
friend  of  my  childhood,  and  the  girl  that  taught  me  first  to  love. 
I  informed  her  of  my  intentions.  We  pledged  mutual  and  last- 
ing fidelity  to  each  other,  and  I  bid  farewell  to  the  old  farm, 
and  went  to  St.  Louis  to  seek  employment.  When  I  landed  on 
the  wharf  at  St.  Louis,  I  met  a  negro  by  the  name  of  Barton, 
who  had  formerly  been  a  slave  to  my  mother.  He  informed  me 
that  he  was  a  fireman  on  the  steamboat  Warrior,  running  the 
Upper  Mississippi,  between  St.  Louis,  Mo.,  and  Galena,  Illinois. 
I  told  him  I  wanted  work.  He  said  be  could  get  me  a  berth  on 
the  Warrior  as  fireman,  at  $25.00  a  month;  but  he  considered 
the  work  more  than  I  could  endure,  as  it  was  a  hard,  hot  boat 
to  fire  on.  I  insisted  on  making  the  effort,  and  was  employed 
as  fireman  on  the  Warrior,  at  $25.00  per  month.  I  found  the 
work  was  very  hard.  The  first  two  or  three  times  thai  I  was  on 
watch,  I  feared  I  would  be  forced  to  give  it  up ;  but  my  proud 
spirit  bore  me  up,  and  I  managed  to  do  my  work  until  we 
reached  the  lower  rapids  near  Keokuk.  At  this  place  the  War- 
rior transferred  its  freight,  in  light  boats,  over  the  rapids  to  the 
Henry  Clay,  a  steamer  belonging  to  the  same  line. 

The  Henry  Clay  then  lay  at  Commerce,  now  known  as  Nauvoo. 
I  was  detailed  with  two  others  to  take  a  skiff  with  four  passen- 
gers over  the  rapids.  The  passengers  were  Mrs.  Bogges  and 
her  mother,  and  a  lady  whose  name  I  have  forgotten,  and  Mr. 
Bogges.  The  distance  to  the  Henry  Clay  from  where  the  War- 
rior lay,  was  twelve  miles.  A  large  portion  of  the  cargo  of  the 
Warrior  belonged  to  the  firm  of  Bogges  &  Co.  When  we  had 
gone  nearly  half-way  over  the  rapids  my  two  assistants  got  drunk 
and  could  no  longer  assist  me  ;  the}-  lay  down  in  the  skiff  and 
went  to  sleep.  Night  was  fast  approaching,  and  there  was  no 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  45- 

chance  for  sleep  or  refreshment,  until  we  could  reach  Com- 
merce or  the  Henry  Clay.  The  whole  labor  fell  on  me,  to  take 
that  skiff  and  its  load  of  passengers  to  the  steamer.  Mr.  Bogges 
aided  me  when  he  could  dp  so,  but  much  of  the  distance  I  had 
to  wade  in  the  water  and  push  the  skiff  as  was  most  convenient. 
I  had  on  a  pair  of  new  calf-skin  boots  when  we  started,  but 
they  were  cut  out  by  the  rocks  in  the  river  long  before  we 
reached  the  end  of  the  journey. 

After  a  great  deal  of  hardship  I  succeeded  in  getting  my  pas- 
sengers to  the  steamer  just  as  it  became  dark.  I  was  wet, 
cold,  hungry  and  nearly  exhausted.  I  had  strained  every  nerve 
to  accomplish  my  task,  and  save  those  ladies  from  a  night  of 
suffering  in  an  open  skiff  on  the  river.  Yet  when  we  boarded 
the  boat  I  was  forgotten ;  no  one  paid  any  attention  to  me.  I 
was  among  strangers.  I  expected  that  the  passengers  that  I 
had  so  faithfully  served  would  see  to  my  wants,  but  in  thia 
I  was  mistaken ;  no  one  paid  any  attention  to  me.  I  sat  down 
by  the  engine  in  my  wet  clothing  and  soon  fell  asleep,  without 
bedding  or  food.  I  slept  from  exhaustion  until  near  midnight, 
when  I  was  seized  with  fearful  crampings,  accompanied  by  a 
cold  and  deathlike  numbness.  I  tried  to  rise  up,  but  could 
not.  Every  time  I  made  an  effort  to  rise,  the  pains  increased. 
I  thought  my  time  had  come,  and  that  I  would  perish  without 
aid  or  assistance.  When  all  hope  had  left  me,  I  heard  a  foot- 
step approaching,  and  a  man  came  and  bent  over  me  and  asked 
if  I  was  ill.  I  recognized  the  voice  as  that  of  Mr.  Bogges.  I 
said  I  was  in  the  agonies  of  death,  and  a  stranger  without  a 
friend  on  the  boat.  He  felt  my  pulse,  and  haste  ned  awaj7,  say- 
ing as  he  left  me,  "Do  not  despair,  young  man,  you  are  not 
without  friends,  I  will  return  at  once."  He  soon  came  to  me 
bringing  a  lantern  and  a  bottle  of  cholera  medicine,  and  gave 
me  a  large  dose  of  the  medicine,  then  he  brought  the  Captain 
and  others  to  me.  I  was  soon  comfortably  placed  in  bed,  and 
from  that  time  I  had  every  attention  paid  me,  and  all  the  medi- 
cal care  that  was  necessary.  Mr.  Bogges  sat  by  me  a  long 
time  and  rubbed  my  hands  and  limbs  until  the  cramping  gave 
way.  He  told  me  by  way  of  apology  for  his  seeming  neglect, 
that  he  had  supposed  I  was  one  of  the  regular  crew  of  the 
Henry  Clay,  and  was  among  friends.  That  his  wife  and  mother- 
in-law  had  noticed  that  I  appeared  to  be  a  stranger,  and  they  had 
seen  me  when  I  sat  down  by  the  engine  alone ;  that  after  they 


retired,  his  wife  was  restless  and  insisted  on  his  getting  up  and 
finding  me ;  this  was  the  occasion  of  his  assistance  coming  as  it 
did.  He  then  asked  me  why  I  was  there  and  for  a  history  of 
my  former  career.  I  gave  him  a  brief  history  of  my  life,  which 
seemed  to  interest  him  very  much.  He  told  me  he  had  formed 
a,  slight  acquaintance  with  my  uncle  Conner,  at  Galena,  the  year 
before,  and  considered  him  rather  a  hard  case.  So  the  conver- 
sation dropped  for  that  night.  I  recovered  rapidly,  and  by  noon 
next  day  was  up,  and  reported  myself  to  the  Captain  for  duty, 
informing  him  why  I  was  there,  and  what  I  came  for.  I  was  set 
to  work  loading  the  steamer.  In  the  meantime,  Mr.  Bogges  had 
contracted  for  freighting  his  goods  to  Galena,  where  he  resided ; 
and  had  provided  for  the  passage  of  himself,  wife  and  mother-in- 
law.  They  would  go  by  land  from  Commerce,  as  he  dreaded 
the  passage  of  the  upper  rapids  in  time  of  low  water,  as  it  then 
was.  After  finishing  the  loading  of  the  steamer,  I  again  began 
to  fire  up  to  get  ready  for  a  start.  While  so  engaged,  Mr.  Bogges 
came  to  me,  and  talked  to  me  for  some  time.  He  said  steam- 
boating  was  a  hard  life  at  best,  that  I  would  be  constantly  wet, 
cold,  and  broken  of  my  rest,  and  would  soon  drift  into  bad  hab- 
its ;  that  he  considered  me  an  honorable  young  man,  and  felt  an 
interest  in  me  like  a  father  should  feel  for  a  son ;  that  he  admired 
my  grit  and  courage,  and  said  I  had  manly  principles,  which 
was  more  than  the  average,  that  his  wife  was  interested  in  my 
welfare,  and  that,  at  the  suggestion  of  her  and  her  mother,  and 
of  his  own  wish,  he  now  offered  to  employ  me,  and  wished  me 
to  goto  Galena  with  him,  and  act  as  his  clerk  that  winter ;  that  he 
was  doing  business  as  a  provision  and  groceryman,  that  in  the 
Spring  he  would  furnish  me  with  tools,  and  every  thing  I  needed, 
and  I  could  go  to  mining,  if  I  wished  to  do  so,  and  he  would 
then  give  me  the  half  that  we  could  make.  He  asked  me  then 


what  wages  I  was  getting.  I  told  him  $25.  "I  will  give 
you  $50,"  said  he.  I  said,  "You  are  very  kind,  indeed, 
sir.  I  should  not  charge  you  more  than  I  am  getting  here,  ex- 
cept my  expenses  from  Galena  to  Saint  Louis,  as  I  may  have  that 
to  pay,  for  I  may  not  suit  you ;  for  I  have  had  very  little  expe- 
rience in  selling  goods,  though  I  have  traded  and  trafficked  con- 
siderably with  the  people  where  I  have  lived.  And  the  services 
that  I  rendered  you,  as  we  came  up  the  river,  was  simply  my 
duty.  It  was  what  I  had  been  employed  to  do,  and  I  did  it  and  no 
more."  He  said,  "  I  know  what  you  have  done,  and  if  you  will 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  47 

only  go  with  me,  I  will  pay  you  double  what  you  are  getting 
here,  and  perhaps  three  times  as  much."  "But,"  said  I,  "  you 
know  I  am  already  employed,  and  have  no  right  to  break  my 
contract,  and  leave  my  employer."  He  said  he  would  arrange 
that  with  the  Captain,  if  I  would  go  with  him.  I  consented,  and 
after  settling  with  the  Captain  of  the  Henry  Clay,  who  bid  me 
good  bye  and  good  luck,  I  started  for  Galena,  Elinois,  witli 
Mr.  Bogges  and  his  family,  to  take  charge  of  a  business  then 
almost  new  to  me. 

We  reached  Galena  in  safety,  and  good  health.  Now  a  new 
era  in  my  life  commenced.  Mr.  William  Bogges  introduced 
me  to  John  D.  Mulligan,  his  partner.  I  at  once  commenced  my 
duties  as  salesman  and  bar-tender  at  the  store,  and  general  out- 
side man  for  Mr.  Wm.  Bogges ;  who  placed  me  in  charge  of 
every  thing  in  which  he  was  interested. 

The  business  was  such  that  I  found  it  more  than  play.  Many 
a  time  I  did  not  get  rest  or  sleep  for  forty-eight  hours  at  a  time. 
I  have  frequently  taken  in  $100  in  twenty-four  hours  for 
drinks,  at  five  cents  a  drink.  The  receipts,  for  provisions  sold, 
would  average  $1000  a  day.  During  the  winter,  Mr.  Mulli- 
gan was  taken  sick,  and  I  had  the  whole  business  to  attend  to 
for  three  weeks.  I  found  out  that  the  clerks  in  stores  have  as 
hard  work  to  do,  and  put  in  more  hours  during  the  day  and 
night  than  the  farm  hand  has  to  labor.  I  paid  strict  attention 
to  business,  making  the  interest  of  my  employers  my  interest. 
On  account  of  my  faithful  services,  I  was  permitted  to  prepare 
hot  lunches  during  the  night,  to  sell  to  gamblers.  What  I  made 
was  my  own.  In  this  way  I  made  from  850  to  $100  a  month  extra. 

One  day  while  I  was  absent  from  the  store,  looking  after  the 
farming  interests  of  Mr.  Bogges,  a  French  half-breed,  by  the 
name  of  Shaunce,  got  on  a  drunken  spree  and  cleared  out  the 
store,  and  saloon,  too;  he  broke  considerable  furniture,  glass- 
ware, and  made  himself  generally  troublesome.  When  I  re- 
turned at  night,  Mr.  Bogges  told  me  of  all  the  troubles  that 
Shaunce  had  occasioned,  and  said  if  he  repeated  it,  I  must  give 
him  a  good  drubbing.  I  said  I  would  rather  have  nothing  to 
do  with  him.  Things  were  quiet  for  a  few  days,  then  the  miners 
got  on  a  spree,  and  a  large  number  of  them  came  to  where  I  was 
working.  Shaunce  was  in  the  crowd.  I  was  then  out  at  dinner. 
They  attacked  Mulligan,  beat  him  up  badly,  and  ran  him  out  of 
the  building ;  then  the  drunken  crowd  set  things  up  generally. 


Hearing  the  disturbance,  I  ran  to  the  store.  I  entered  by  the 
back  door,  and  went  behind  the  counter.  As  I  did  so  Shaunce 
ran  to  the  counter  and  grabbed  up  a  large  number  of  tumblers, 
and  threw  them  over  the  house,  breaking  them  all.  I  said, 
"Mr.  Shaunce,  you  must  either  behave,  or  go  out  of  the  house. " 
As  I  said  so,  he  jumped  over  the  counter,  caught  me  by  the 
throat,  and  shoved  me  back  against  the  counter,  saying,  "You 
d — d  little  pup,  how  dare  you  insult  me!  "  There  was  no  time 
to  swap  knives.  I  must  either  receive  a  severe  beating,  or  do 
something  to  prevent  it.  I  remembered  the  advice  that  my 
uncle  Conner  had  given  me  about  fighting.  He  said,  "John,  if 
you  ever  get  in  a  fight  with  a  man  that  over-matches  you,  take 
one  of  his  hands  in  both  of  yours,  and  let  him  strike  as  he  may, 
but  get  one  of  his  fingers  in  your  mouth  and  then  bite  it,  and 
hold  on  until  he  gives  up."  Acting  on  this  advice,  I  succeeded 
in  getting  one  of  his  thumbs  in  my  mouth.  I  held  to  it  until  I 
dislocated  the  thumb  joint,  when  he  yelled,  "Take  him  off !" 
This  little  affair  made  a  quiet  man  of  Shaunce,  and  my  employ- 
ers were  more  pleased  with  me  than  ever  before.  They  made 
me  a  present  of  $50  for  what  I  had  done. 

I  formed  a  slight  acquaintance  with  the  father  of  General 
Grant  while  in  Galena.  He  was  a  steady,  orderly  man.  U.  S. 
Grant  was  then  about  seventeen  years  of  age.  I  remember  a 
story  that  was  told  at  that  time  about  the  Grant  family  by  John 
L.  Dickerson,  who  resided  near  Galena.  Dickerson  had  a  horse 
that  he  wanted  to  sell,  and  young  Grant  took  a  fancy  to  it  and 
insisted  that  his  father  should  buy  it  for  him.  The  father  sent 
young  Grant  to  buy  the  horse,  but  directed  him  to  give  no  more 
than  $60,  and  said,  "You  offer  him  $50,  and  if  he  refuses  that, 
offer  $55 ;  if  he  still  refuses,  you  can  give  $60,  but  that  is  as 
much  as  I  will  pay,  for  he  has  offered  it  for  that  price."  Young 
Grant  went  to  Dickerson  and  commenced  to  talk  about  buying 
the  horse.  Dickerson  said,  "Tell  me  just  what  your  father  said 
about  your  trading  with  me."  This  made  Grant  think  a  few 
minutes,  when  he  said,  "  Mr.  Dickerson,  I  expect  it  is  best  to 
tell  the  truth."  Then  he  informed  him  what  his  father  had  said. 
Dickerson  was  so  pleased  at  it  that  he  let  Grant  have  the  horse 
for  $55,  saying  he  deducted  $5  on  account  of  the  lad  being  so 

I  made  money  while  with  Bogges  &  Co. ,  and  was  saving  of 
what  I  earned.     I  did  not  gamble.     I  took  good  care  of  myself. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  49 

and,  having  the  respect  of  every  person,  I  admit  I  was  quite 
vain  and  proud.  I  was  accused  by  the  gamblers  of  being 
stingy  with  my  money.  So  I  thought  I  would  do  as  others  did, 
and  commenced  to  give  money  to  others  as  a  stake  to  gamble 
with  on  shares.  Soon  I  began  to  play.  I  won  and  lost,  but  did 
not  play  to  any  great  extent.  Mr.  Bogges  took  me  to  task  for 
gambling,  gave  me  good  advice,  and  showed  me  how  utterly 
impossible  it  was  for  me  to  be  a  successful  business  man  if  I 
gambled.  He  also  showed  me  many  of  the  tricks  of  the  gam- 
blers, and  I  promised  him  to  quit  the  practice  as  soon  as  I  got 
married,  and  also  not  to  gamble  any  more  while  in  his  employ. 
I  kept  these  promises. 

In  the  early  part  of  1832  I  received  an  affectionate  letter  from 
my  Emily,  desiring  me  to  return  to  her,  and  settle  down  before 
I  had  acquired  a  desire  for  a  rambling  life.  I  then  had  $500  in 
money  and  two  suits  of  broad-cloth  clothing.  I  was  anxious  to 
see  Emily,  sol  settled  up  with  Bogges  &  Co.,  and  started  for 
home.  Emily  was  then  living  at  her  sister's  house  in  Prairie  de 
Roache ;  her  brother-in-law,  Thos.  Blay,  kept  the  tavern  there. 
I  boarded  with  them  about  two  weeks,  during  which  time  I  play- 
ed cards  with  the  Frenchmen  there,  and  dealt  vantune,  or  twenty- 
one,  for  them  to  bet  at.  I  was  lucky,  but  I  lived  fast,  and  spent 
my  money  freely,  and  soon  found  that  half  of  it  was  gone. 

I  soon  discovered  that  Emily  was  dissatisfied  with  my  con- 
duct. I  proposed  immediate  marriage ;  Emily  proposed  to  wait 
until  the  next  fall,  during  which  time  we  were  to  prepare  for 
housekeeping.  Her  suggestions  were  well  intended,  and  she 
wished  to  see  if  I  would  not  reform,  for  she  had  serious  doubts 
about  the  propriety  of  marrying  a  gambler.  She  asked  me  to 
quit  gambling,  and  if  I  had  made  that  promise  all  would  have 
been  well,  but  I  was  stubborn  and  proud  and  refused  to  make 
any  promise  ;  I  thought  it  was  beneath  my  dignity.  I  really  in- 
tended to  never  gamble  after  my  wedding,  but  I  would  not  tell 
her  so ;  my  vanity  overruled  my  judgment.  I  said  to  her  that  if 
she  had  not  confidence  enough  in  me  to  take  me  as  I  was,  with- 
out requiring  me  to  give  such  a  promise,  I  would  never  see  her 
again  until  I  came  to  ask  her  to  my  wedding.  This  was  cruel, 
and  deeply  wounded  her;  she  burst  into  tears  and  turned  from 
me.  I  never  saw  her  again  until  I  went  to  ask  her  to  attend  my 
wedding.  I  went  up  into  the  country  and  stopped  with  my 
cousins ;  while  there  I  met  the  bride  of  my  youth  ;  she  was  the 


daughter  of  Joseph  Woolsey  and  Abigail  his  wife  ;  they  had  four 
daughters,  all  grown.  I  attended  church,  went  to  parties,  pic- 
nics, etc.,  with  the  girls,  and  fell  in  love  with  Agathe  Ann,  the 
eldest  girl.  The  old  folks  were  opposed  to  my  marrying  their 
daughter,  but  after  suffering  the  tortures  and  overcoming  the 
obstacles  usual  in  such  cases,  I  obtained  the  consent  of  the 
girl's  parents,  and  was  married  to  Agathe  Ann  Woolsey  on  the 
24th  day  of  July,  A.  D.  1833.  The  expenses  of  the  wedding 
ended  all  my  money,  and  I  was  ready  to  start  the  world  new 
and  fresh.  I  had  about  $50  to  procure  things  to  keep  house  on, 
but  it  was  soon  gone ;  yet  it  procured  about  all  we  then  thought 
we  needed.  I  commenced  housekeeping  near  my  wife's  father's, 
and  had  good  success  in  all  that  I  undertook.  I  made  money, 
or  rather  I  obtained  considerable  property,  and  was  soon  com- 
fortably fixed.  I  followed  trading  everything,  and  for  every- 
thing that  was  in  the  country. 

My  wife  was  born  January  18,  1814;  our  first  child  was  born 
on  the  3rd  day  of  July,  1834 ;  we  named  him  William  Oliver. 
In  October,  1834,  I  moved  to  Fayette  county,  Illinois,  and 
settled  ncrth  of  Vandalia,  near  my  sister's,  and  lived  there  some 
two  years ;  during  that  time  our  oldest  child  died.  I  next  pur- 
chased a  farm  on  Luck  Creek,  in  Fayette  county,  Illinois,  and 
lived  on  it  until  I  went  to  Missouri  to  join  the  Mormon  Church. 



IN  1836  my  second  child,  Elizabeth  Adaline,  was  born.    After 
I  moved  to  Luck  Creek  I  was  a  fortunate  man  and  accumu- 
lated property  very  fast.     I  look  back  to  those  da}^s  with  pleas- 
ure.    I  was  blest  with  everything  that  an  honest  heart  could 

I  had  a  large  house  and  I  gave  permission  to  all  sorts  of  peo- 
ple to  come  there  and  preach.'  Methodists,  Baptists,  Campbell- 
ites  and  Mormons  all  preached  there  when  they  desired  to  do  so. 
In  1837  a  man  by  the  name  of  King,  from  Indiana,  passed  by, 
or  came  to  my  place,  on  his  way  to  Missouri,  to  join  the  Mor- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  51 

mons.  He  had  been  a  New  Light,  or  Campbellite  preacher.  I 
invited  him  to  stay  at  my  place  until  the  next  Spring.  I  gave 
him  provisions  for  his  family,  and  he  consented  to  and  did  stay 
with  me  some  time.  Soon  after  that  there  was  a  Methodist 
meeting  at  my  house.  After  the  Methodist  services  were  through 
I  invited  King  to  speak.  He  talked  about  half  an  hour  on  the 
first  principles  of  the  gospel  as  taught  by  Christ  and  his  apostles, 
denouncing  all  other  doctrines  as  spurious.  This  put  an  end  to 
all  other  denominations  preaching  in  my  house.  That  was  the 
first  sermon  I  ever  heard  concerning  Mormonism.  The  Winter 
before  two  elders,  Durphy  and  Peter  Dustan,  stayed  a  few  days 
with  Hanford  Stewart,  a  cousin  of  Levi  Stewart,  the  bishop  of 
Kanab.  They  preached  in  the  neighborhood,  but  I  did  not  at- 
tend or  hear  them  preach.  My  wife  and  her  mother  went  to 
hear  them,  and  were  much  pleased  with  their  doctrine.  I  was 
not  a  member  of  any  church,  and  considered  the  religion  of  the 
day  as  merely  the  opinions  of  men  who  preached  for  hire  and 
worldly  gain.  I  believed  in  God  and  in  Christ,  but  I  did  not  see 
any  denomination  that  taught  the  apostolic  doctrine  as  set  forth 
in  the  New  Testament. 

I  read  in  the  New  Testament  where  the  apostle  Paul  recom- 
mended his  people  to  prove  all  things,  then  hold  fast  to  that 
which  is  good ;  also  that  he  taught  that  though  an  angel  from 
heaven  should  preach  any  other  gospel  than  this  which  ye  have 
received,  let  him  be  accursed.  This  forbid  me  believing  any 
doctrine  that  differed  from  that  taught  by  Christ  and  his  apos- 
tles. I  wanted  to  belong  to  the  true  Church  or  none. 

When  King  began  to  preach  at  my  house  I  noticed  that  every 
other  denomination  opposed  him.  I  was  surprised  at  this.  I 
could  not  see  how  he  could  injure  them  if  they  were  right.  I 
had  been  brought  up  as  a  strict  Catholic.  I  was  taught  to  look 
upon  all  sects,  except  the  Catholic,  with  disfavor,  and  my  opin- 
ion was  that  the  Mormons  and  all  others  were  apostates  from 
the  true  Church ;  that  the  Mormon  Church  was  made  up  of  the 
offscourings  of  hell,  or  of  apostates  from  the  true  Church.  I 
then  had  not  the  most  distant  idea  that  the  Mormons  believed 
in  the  Old  and  New  Testaments.  I  was  astonished  to  hear  King 
prove  his  religion  from  the  Scriptures.  I  reflected.  I  deter- 
mined, as  every  honest  man  should  do,  to  fairly  investigate  his 
doctrines,  and  to  do  so  with  a  prayerful  heart.  The  more  I 
studied  the  question,  the  more  interested  I  became.  I  talked 


of  the  doctrine  to  nearly  every  man  I  met.  The  excitement 
soon  became  general,  and  King  was  invited  to  preach  in  many 

In  the  meantime,  Levi  Stewart,  one  of  my  near  neighbors,  be- 
came interested  in  this  religion,  and  went  to  Far  West,  Missouri, 
to  investigate  the  question  of  Mormonism  at  head-quarters.  He 
joined  the  Church  there,  and  when  he  returned  he  brought  with 
him  the  "Book  of  Mormon"  and  a  monthly  periodical  called 
the  Elder's  Journal.  By  this  time  my  anxiety  was  very  great, 
and  I  determined  to  fathom  the  question  to  the  bottom.  My 
frequent  conversations  with  Elder  King  served  to  carry  me  on  to 
a  conviction,  at  least,  that  the  dispensation  of  the  fullness  of 
time  would  soon  usher  in  upon  the  world.  If  such  was  the 
case  I  wished  to  know  it,  for  the  salvation  of  my  never- 
dying  soul  was  of  far  more  importance  to  me  than  all  other 
earthly  considerations.  I  regarded  the  heavenly  boon  of  eternal 
life  as  a  treasure  of  great  price.  I  left  off  my  frivolity  and  com- 
menced to  lead  a  more  moral  life.  I  then  began  trying  to  lay 
up  treasure  in  Heaven,  in  my  Father's  rich  store-house,  and 
wished  to  become  an  heir  of  righteousness,  to  inherit  in  common 
with  the  faithful  children  the  rich  legacy  of  our  Father's  King- 

A  third  child  had  been  born  to  us,  a  daughter ;  we  called  her 
Sarah  Jane.  During  that  year  our  second  child,  Elizabeth 
Adaline,  died  of  scarlet  fever.  The  night  she  lay  a  corpse  I 
finished  reading  the  Book  of  Mormon.  I  never  closed  my  eyes 
in  sleep  from  the  time  I  commenced  until  I  finished  the  book. 
I  read  it  after  asking  God  to  give  me  knowledge  to  know  if  it 
was  genuine  and  of  Divine  authority.  By  careful  examination  I 
found  that  it  was  in  strict  accord  with  the  Bible  and  the  gospel 
therein  contained.  That  it  purported  to  have  been  given  to 
another  people,  who  then  lived  on  this  continent,  as  the  Old  and 
New  Testaments  had  been  given  to  the  Israelites  in  Asia.  I  also 
found  many  passages  in  the  Bible  in  support  of  the  forthcoming 
of  such  a  work,  preparatory  to  the  gathering  of  the  remnant  of 
the  House  of  Israel,  and  the  opening  glory  of  the  Latter  Day 
Work,  and  the  setting  up  of  the  Kingdom  of  God  upon  the  earth 
for  the  reception  of  the  Son  of  Man,  the  millennial  reign  of  Christ 
upon  the  earth  a  thousand  years,  etc. ;  all  of  which,  to  me,  was 
of  great  moment.  My  whole  soul  was  absorbed  in  these  things. 
My  neighbor  Stewart,  who  had  just  returned  from  Missouri, 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  53 

brought  the  most  cheering  and  thrilling  accounts  of  the  power 
and  manifestations  of  the  Holy  Spirit  working  with  that  people. 
That  the  spiritual  gifts  of  the  true  believers  in  Christ,  were 
enjoyed  by  all  who  lived  faithfully  and  sought  them.  That  there 
was  no  deception  about  it ;  that  every  one  had  a  testimony  for 
himself,  and  was  not  dependent  upon  another.  That  they  had 
the  gift  of  tongues,  and  the  interpretation  of  those  tongues. 
The  power  of  healing  the  sick  by  the  laying  on  of  hands ; 
prophesying,  casting  out  devils  and  evil  spirits,  etc.  All  of  which 
he  declared,  with  words  of  soberness,  to  be  true.  Stewart  had 
been  my  playmate  and  my  companion  in  former  years.  His 
word  was  considered  good  by  all,  and  it  had  great  influence  on 
me,  and  strengthened  my  conviction  that  the  Book  of  Mormon 
was  true — that  it  was  a  star  opening  the  dispensation  of  the 
fullness  of  time. 

I  believed  the  Book  of  Mormon  was  true,  and  if  so,  every- 
thing but  my  soul's  salvation  was  a  matter  of  secondary  consid- 
eration to  me.  I  had  a  small  fortune,  a  nice  home,  kind  neigh- 
bors, and  numerous  friends,  but  nothing  could  shake  the  deter- 
mination I  then  formed,  to  break  up,  sell  out,  and  leave  Illinois 
and  go  to  the  Saints  at  Far  West,  Missouri.  My  friends  used  every 
known  argument  to  change  my  determination,  but  these  words 
came  into  my  mind,  "First  seek  the  righteousness  of  the  king- 
dom of  God,  then  all  things  necessary  will  be  added  unto  you ; " 
And  again,  "What  would  it  profit  a  man  to  gain  the  whole 
world  and  lose  his  own  soul?"  or,  what  could  a  man  give  in  ex- 
change for  his  soul  ?  I  was  here  brought  to  the  test,  and  my 
action  was  to  decide  on  which  I  placed  Ijhe  most  value — my 
earthly  possessions  and  enjoyments,  or  my  reward  in  future,  the 
salvation  of  my  never-dying  soul.  I  took  up  my  cross  and  chose 
the  latter.  I  sold  out  and  moved  to  Far  West.  I  took  leave  of 
my  friends  and  made  my  way  to  where  the  Saints  had  gathered 
in  Zion.  Our  journey  was  one  full  of  events  interesting  to  us, 
but  not  of  sufficient  importance  to  relate  to  the  public.  While 
on  the  journey  I  sold  most  of  my  cattle  on  time  to  an  old  man, 
a  friend  of  Stewart's — took  his  notes,  and  let  him  keep  them, 
which,  as  the  sequel  shows,  was  fortunate  for  me. 

We  arrived  at  Far  West,  the  then  headquarters  of  the  Mor- 
mon Church,  about  the  fourth  day  of  June,  1838.  The  country 
around  there  for  some  fifteen  or  twenty  miles,  each  way,  was 
settled  by  Mormons.  I  do  not  think  any  others  lived  within  that 


distance.  The  Mormons  who  had  been  driven  from  Jackson, 
Ray  and  Clay  counties,  in  1833,  settled  in  Caldwell  and  Daviess- 

The  night  after  our  arrival  at  Far  West,  there  was  a  meeting 
to  be  held  there.  Stewart  said  to  me,  "  Let  us  go  up  and  hear 
them  speak  with  new  tongues  and  interpret  the  same,  and  enjoy 
the  gifts  of  the  gospel  generally,  for  this  is  to  be  a  prayer  and 
testimony  meeting."  My  reply  was,  "  I  want  no  signs;  I  be- 
lieve the  gospel  they  preach  on  principle  and  reason,  not  upon 
signs — its  consistency  is  all  I  ask.  All  I  want  are  natural,  logi- 
cal and  reasonable  arguments,  to  make  up  my  mind  from." 
Feeling  in  this  way,  I  did  not  go  to  the  meeting. 

The  Sunday  after,  I  attended  church  in  Far  West  Hall.  The 
hall  was  crowded  with  people,  so  much  so  that  I,  with  others, 
could  not  gain  admittance  to  the  building.  I  obtained  standing 
room  in  one  of  the  windows.  I  saw  a  man  enter  the  house 
without  uncovering  his  head.  The  prophet  ordered  the  Brother 
of  Gideon  to  put  that  man  out,  for  his  presumption  in  daring  to 
enter  and  stand  in  the  house  of  God  without  uncovering  his  head. 
This  looked  to  me  like  drawing  the  lines  pretty  snug  and  close ; 
however,  I  knew  but  little  of  the  etiquette  of  high  life,  and  much 
less  abo"ut  that  of  the  kingdom  of  heaven.  I  looked  upon  Joseph 
Smith  as  a  prophet  of  God — as  one  who  held  the  keys  of  this 
last  dispensation,  and  I  hardly  knew  what  to  think  about  the 
rash  manner  in  which  the  man  was  treated  who  had  entered  the 
house  of  God  without  taking  his  hat  off.  But  this  did  not  lessen 
my  faith  ;  it  served  to  confirm  it.  I  was  fearful  that  I  might  in 
some  way  unintentionally  offend  the  great  and  good  man  who 
stood  as  God's  prophet  on  the  earth  to  point  out  the  way  of  sal- 

We  remained  at  the  house  of  elder  Joseph  Hunt,  in  Far  West, 
several  days.  He  was  then  a  strong  Mormon,  and  was  after- 
wards first  captain  in  the  Mormon  Battalion.  He,  as  an  elder 
in  the  Church,  was  a  preacher  of  the. gospel;  all  of  his  family 
were  firm  in  the  faith.  Elder  Hunt  preached  to  me  the  necessity 
of  humility  and  a  strict  obedience  to  the  gospel  requirements 
through  the  servants  of  God.  He  informed  me  that  the  apostles 
and  elders  were  our  true  teachers,  and  it  was  our  duty  to  Jiear, 
learn  and  obey ;  that  the  spirit  of  God  was  very  fine  and  deli- 
cate, and  was  easily  grieved  and  driven  from  us ;  that  the  more 
humble  we  were,  the  more  of  the  Holy  Spirit  we  would  enjoy. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  55 

After  staying  in  Far  West  about  a  week,  we  moved  about 
twenty  miles,  and  settled  on  a  stream  called  Marrowbone,  at  a 
place  called  afterwards  Ambrosia.  Sunday,  June  17,  1838,  I 
attended  meeting.  Samuel  H.  Smith,  a  brother  of  the  prophet, 
and  elder  Daniel  Cathcart  preached.  After  meeting,  I  and  my 
wife  were  baptized  by  elder  Cathcart,  in  Ambrosia,  on  Shady 
Grove  creek,  in  Daviess  county,  Missouri.  I  was  now  a  mem- 
ber of  the  Church,  and  expected  to  live  in  strict  obedience  to 
the  requirements  of  the  holy  priesthood  that  ruled,  governed  and 
controlled  it.  I  must  do  this  in  order  to  advance  in  the  scale  of 
intelligence  unto  thrones,  kingdoms,  principalities  and  powers, 
and  through  faithfulness  and  fidelity  to  the  cause,  receive  eter- 
nal increase  in  the  mansions  that  would  be  prepared  for  me  in 
my  Father's  kingdom. 

My  neighbor,  Stewart,  and  myself  each  selected  a  place  on 
the  same  stream,  and  near  where  his  three  brothers,  Riley,  Jack- 
son and  Urban,  lived.  Urban  Stewart  is  now  Treasurer  of  Beav- 
er county,  Utah.  On  my  location  there  was  a  splendid  spring 
of  pure,  cold  water ;  also  a  small  lake  fed  by  springs.  This  lake 
was  full  of  fish,  such  as  perch,  bass,  pickerel,  mullet  and  cat- 
fish. It  was  surrounded  by  a  grove  of  heavy  timber,  mostly 
hickory  and  oak,  in  nearly  all  their  varieties.  We  could  have 
fish  sufficient  for  use  every  day  in  the  year,  if  we  desired. 
My  home  on  Ambrosia  creek  reminded  me  much  of  the  one 
I  had  left  on  Luck  creek,  Illinois ;  but  it  was  on  more  rolling 
land,  and  much  healthier  than  the  Illinois  home  had  proven  to 
us.  I  knew  I  could  soon  replace,  by  labor,  all  the  comfort  I 
had  abandoned  when  I  started  to  seek  my  salvation.  I  felt  that 
I  had  greatly  benefitted  my  condition  by  seeking  first  the  king- 
dom of  Heaven  and  its  righteousness ;  all  else,  I  felt,  would  be 
added  unto  me.  But  still  I  knew  I  must  be  frugal,  industrious, 
and  use  much  care.  I  improved  my  farm  as  rapidly  as  I  could, 
and  was  soon  so  fixed  that  we  were  comfortable.  Meetings  were 
held  three  times  a  week ;  also  prayer  and  testimony  meetings,  at 
the  latter  sacrament,  was  administered.  In  these  meetings,  as 
well  as  in  everything  I  was  called  upon  to  do,  I  tried  hard  to 
eive  satisfaction.  I  was  a  devout  follower  from  the  first.  What- 


ever  duty  was  assigned  me,  I  tried  to  discharge  with  a  will- 
ing heart  and  ready  hand.  This  disposition,  on  my  part,  cou- 
pled with  my  views  of  duty,  my  pi'omptness  and  punctuality, 
soon  brought  me  to  the  notice  of  the  leading  men  of  the  Church. 


The  motives  of  the  people  who  composed  my  neighborhood, 
were  pure  ;  they  were  all  sincere  in  their  devotions,  and  tried  to 
square  their  actions  through  life  by  the  golden  rule — "Do  unto 
others  as  you  would  they  should  do  unto  you."  The  word  of 
a  Mormon  was  then  good  for  all  it  was  pledged  to  or  for.  I  was 
proud  to  be  an  associate  with  such  an  honorable  people. 

Twenty  miles  north-east  of  my  home  was  the  settlement  of 
Adarn-on-Diamond.  It  was  on  the  east  bank  of  Grand  river, 
near  the  Three  Forks.  Lyman  White,  one  of  the  twelve  apos- 
tles, was  president  of  that  Stake  of  Zion.  In  July,  1838,  Levi 
Stewart  and  myself  concluded  to  visit  the  settlement  of  Adam- 
on-Diamond.  We  remained  over  night  at  the  house  of  Judge 
Mourning.  He  was  a  Democrat.  He  told  us  that,  at  the  ap- 
proaching election,  the  Whigs  were  going  to  cast  their  votes,  at 
the  outside  precints,  early  in  the  day,  and  then  rush  in  force  to 
the  town  of  Gallatin,  the  county-seat  of  Daviess  county,  and  pre- 
vent the  Mormons  from  voting.  The  Judge  requested  us  to  in- 
form our  people  of  the  facts  in  the  case,  and  for  us  to  see  that 
the  Mormons  went  to  the  polls  in  force,  and  prepared  to  resist 
and  overcome  all  violence  that  might  be  offered.  He  said  the 
Whigs  had  no  right  to  deprive  the  Mormons  of  their  right  of 
suffrage,  that  they  had  a  right  to  cast  their  votes  as  free  and 
independent  Americans.  I  knew  that  the  two  political  parties 
were  about  equally  divided  in  Daviess  county,  and  that  the  Mor- 
mons held  the  balance  of  power,  and  would  turn  the  scale  which 
ever  way  they  desired. 

I  had  heard  of  Judge  Mourning  as  a  sharp  political  worker, 
and  I  then  thought  he  was  trying  to  get  up  and  carry  out  an 
electioneering  job  for  his  party;  therefore  I  paid  but  little  atten- 
tion to  what  he  said. 

We  visited  our  friends  at  Adam-on-Diamond,  and  returned 
home.  AVhile  on  this  trip  I  formed  the  acquaintance  of  Solomon 
McBrier,  and  purchased  some  cattle  from  him.  He  wished  to 
sell  me  quite  a  number,  b  ut  as  I  did  not  wish  to  be  involved  in 
debt,  I  refused  to  take  them,  for  I  had  a  perfect  horror  of 
being  in  debt,  for  I  knew  that  when  a  man  was  in  debt  he  was 
in  nearly  every  respect  a  slave,  and  that  if  I  got  in  debt  it  would 
worry  me  and  keep  my  mind  from  that  quiet  repose  so  necessary 
for  corntemplating  the  principal  beauties  of  nature,  and  com- 
muning with  the  Spirit  regarding  holy  subjects. 

On  Monday,  the  6th  day  of  August,  1838,  the  greater  portion 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  57 

Of  our  people  in  the  settlements  near  me,  went  to  Gallatin  to 
attend  the  election.  In  justice  to  truth  I  must  state,  that  just 
before  the  general  election  of  August,  1838,  a  general  notice  was 
given  for  all  the  brethren  of  Daviess  county  to  meet  at  Adam-on- 
Diamond.  Every  man  obeyed  the  call.  At  that  meeting  all  the 
males  over  eighteen  years  of  age,  were  organized  into  a  military 
body,  according  to  the  law  of  the  priesthood,  and  called  "The 
Host  of  Israel."  The  first  rank  was  a  captain  with  ten  men 
under  him  ;  next  was  a  captain  of  fifty,  that  is  he  had  five  com- 
panies of  ten  ;  next,  the  captain  of  a  hundred,  or  of  ten  captains 
and  companies  of  ten.  The  entire  membership  of  the  Mormon 
Church  was  then  organized  in  the  same  way.  This,  as  I  was 
then  informed,  was  the  first  organization  of  the  military  force  of 
the  Church.  It  was  so  organized  at  that  time  by  command  of 
God,  as  revealed  through  the  Lord's  Prophet,  Joseph  Smith. 
God  commanded  Joseph  Smith  to  place  the  Host  of  Israel  in  a 
situation  for  defense  against  the  enemies  of  God  and  the  Church 
of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter  Day  Saints. 

At  the  same  Conference  another  organization  was  perfected, 
or  then  first  formed — it  was  called  the  "Danites."  The  members 
of  this  order  were  placed  under  the  most  sacred  obligations  that 
language  could  invent.  They  were  sworn  to  stand  by  and  sus- 
tain each  other.  Sustain,  protect,  defend,  and  obey  the  leaders 
of  the  Church,  under  any  and  all  circumstances  unto  death;  and 
to  disobey  the  orders  of  the  leaders  of  the  Church,  or  divulge 
the  name  of  a  Danite  to  an  outsider,  or  to  make  public  any  of 
the  secrets  of  the  order  of  Danites,  was  to  be  punished  with 
death.  And  I  can  say  of  a  truth,  many  have  paid  the  penalty 
for  failing  to  keep  their  covenants.  They  had  signs  and  tokens 
for  use  and  protection.  The  token  of  recognition  was  such  that 
it  could  be  readily  understood,  and  it  served  as  a  token  of  dis- 
tress by  which  they  could  know  each  other  from  their  enemies, 
although  they  were  entire  strangers  to  each  other.  When  the 
sign  was  given  it  must  be  responded  to  and  obeyed,  even  at  the 
risk  or  certainty  of  death.  The  Danite  that  would  refuse  to 
respect  the  token,  and  comply  with  all  its  requirements,  was 
stamped  with  dishonor,  infamy,  shame,  disgrace,  and  his  fate  for 
cowardice  and  treachery  was  death. 

This  sign  or  token  of  distress  is  made  by  placing  the  right 
hand  on  the  right  side  of  the  face,  with  the^points  of  the  fingers 


upwards,  shoving  the  hand  upwards  until  the  ear  is  snug  up  be- 
tween the  thumb  and  fore-finger. 

I  here  pause,  and  ask  myself  the  question,  "Am  I  justified' 
in  making  the  above  statement?  I  ask  those  who  think  I  am 
not  fully,  justified  in  telling  all  I  know,  to  wait  until  they  read 
the  whole  story ;  how  I  have  been  ordered,  how  I  have  obeyed 
orders,  and  how  treacherously  I  have  been  used  and  deserted 
by  the  Church  and  its  leaders.  It  is  my  purpose  and  intention,. 
for  such  is  my  certain  duty,  to  free  my  mind,  and  bring  to  light 
some  of  the  secret  workings,  some  of  the  deeds  of  darkness,  that 
have  been  the  result  of  the  evil  teachings  of  aspiring  men,  who 
have  tried. to  couple  their  vile  acts  with  the  Gospel  of  Truth; 
and  endeavored,  alas!  too  successfully,  to  palm  it  off  on  the 
credulous  and  weaker-minded  brethren,  as  a  religious  duty  they 
owed  to  God,  to  unquestioningly  obey  every  order  of  the  Priest- 

To  return  to  the  election  at  Gallatin : — The  brethren  all  at- 
tended the  election.  All  things  seemed  to  pass  off  quietly,  un- 
til some  of  the  Mormons  went  up  to  the  polls  to  vote.  I  was 
then  lying  on  the  grass  with  McBrier  and  a  number  of  others. 
As  the  Mormons  went  to  the  polls,  a  drunken  brute  by  the  name 
of  Richard  Weldon,  stepped  up  to  a  little  Mormon  preacher,  by 
the  name  of  Brown,  and  said  : 

"  Are  you  a  Mormon  preacher,  sir?" 

"  Yes,  sir,  I  am." 

"Do  you  Mormons  believe  in  healing  the  sick  by  lajung  on 
of  hands,  speaking  in  tongues,  and  casting  out  devils?" 

"We  do,"  said  Brown. 

Weldon  then  said,  "You  are  ad — d  liar.  Joseph  Smith  is  a 
d — d  impostor." 

With  this,  he  attacked  Brown,  and  beat  him  severely.  Brown 
did  not  resent  it,  but  tried  to  reason  with  him ;  but  without 
effect.  At  this  time  a  Mormon,  by  the  name  of  Hyrum  Nelson, 
attempted  to  pull  Weldon  off  of  Brown,  when  he  was  struck  by 
half  a  dozen  men  on  the  head,  shoulders  and  face.  He  was  soon 
forced  to  the  ground.  Just  then,  Riley  Stewart  struck  Weldon 
across  the  back  of  the  head  with  a  billet  of  oak  lumber,  and 
broke  his  skull.  Weldon  fell  nearly  on  me,  and  appeared  life- 
less. The  blood  flowed  freely  from  the  wound.  Immediately 
the  fight  became  general. 







LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  59 

Gallatin  was  a  new  town,  with  about  ten  houses,  three  of 
which  were  saloons.  The  town  was  on  the  bank  of  Grand  riv- 
er and  heavy  timber  came  near  the  town,  which  stood  in  a  little 
arm  of  the  prairie.  Close  to  the  polls,  there  was  a  lot  of  oak 
timber,  which  had  been  brought  there  to  be  riven  into  shakes  or 
shingles,  leaving  the  heart,  taken  from  each  shingle-block,  ly- 
ing there  on  the  ground.  These  hearts  were  three  square,  four 
feet  long,  weighed  about  seven  pounds,  and  made  a  very 
dangerous,  yet  handy  weapon ;  and  when  used  by  an  enraged 
man  they  were  truly  a  class  of  instrument  to  be  dreaded. 
When  Stewart  fell,  the  Mormons  sprang  to  the  pile  of  oak  hearts, 
and  each  man,  taking  one  for  use,  rushed  into  the  crowd.  The 
Mormons  were  yelling,  "Save  him!"  and  the  settlers  yelled, 
"Kill  him;  d — n  him!"  The  sign  of  distress  was  given  by  the 
Danites,  and  all  rushed  forward,  determined  to  save  Stewart,  or 
die  with  him.  One  of  the  mob  stabbed  Stewart  in  the  shoulder. 
He  rose  and  ran,  trying  to  escape,  but  was  again  surrounded 
and  attacked  by  a  large  number  of  foes.  The  Danite  sign  of 
distress  was  again  given  by  John  L.  Butler,  one  of  the  captains 
of  the  Host  of  Israel.  Butler  was  a  brave,  true  man,  and  a  lead- 
er that  it  was  a  pleasure  to  follow  where  duty  called.  Seeing 
the  sign,  I  sprang  to  my  feet  and  armed  myself  with  one  of  the 
oak  sticks.  I  did  this  because  I  was  a  Danite,  and  my  oaths 
that  I  had  taken  required  immediate  action  on  my  part,  in  sup- 
port of  the  one  giving  the  sign.  I  ran  into  the  crowd.  As  I 
reached  it,  I  saw  Nelson  down  on  the  ground  fighting  for  life. 
He  was  surrounded  by  a  large  number,  who  were  seeking  to 
murder  him,  but  he  had  a  loaded  whip,  the  lash  wrapped  around 
his  hand,  and  using  the  handle,  which  was  loaded  with  several 
pounds  of  lead,  as  a  weapon  of  defense.  He  was  using  it  with 
effect,  for  he  had  men  piled  around  him  in  all  shapes.  As  I  ap- 
proached, a  man  sprang  to  his  feet.  He  had  just  been  knocked 
down  by  Nelson.  As  the  man  was  rising,  Nelson  gave  him  a 
blow  across  the  loins  with  the  handle  of  his  whip,  which  had  the 
effect  of  straitening  out  the  villain  on  the  grass,  and  rendered 
him  an  inoffensive  spectator  during  the  remainder  of  the  play. 
Captain  Butler  was  then  a  stranger  to  me,  and  until  I  saw  him 
give  the  Danite  sign  of  distress,  I  had  believed  him  to  be  one  of 
the  Missouri  ruffians,  who  were  our  enemies.  In  this  contest  I 
came  near  committing  a  serious  mistake.  I  had  raised  my  club 
to  strike  a  man,  when  a  Missourian  rushed  at  him,  and  struck 


him  with  a  loaded  whip,  and  called  him  a  d — d  Mormon.  The 
man  then  gave  the  sign,  and  I  knew  how  to  act. 

Capt.  Butler  was  attacked  from  all  sides,  but,  being  a  power- 
ful man,  he  used  his  oak  club  with  effect  and  knocked  a  man 
•down  at  each  blow  that  he  struck,  and  each  man  that  felt  the 
weight  of  his  weapon  was  out  of  the  fight  for  that  day  at  least. 
Many  of  those  that  he  came  in  contact  with  had  to  be  carried 
from  the  field  for  surgical  aid.  In  the  battle,  which  was  spir- 
ited, but  short  in  duration,  nine  men  had  their  skulls  broken, 
and  many  others  were  seriously  injured  in  other  ways.  The 
severe  treatment  of  the  mob  by  the  Danites,  soon  ended  the 
battle.  Three  hundred  men  were  present  at  this  difficulty,  only 
thirty  of  whom  were  Mormons,  and  only  eight  Mormons  took 
part  in  the  fight. 

1  was  an  entire  stranger  to  all  who  were  engaged  in  the  affray, 
except  Stewart,  but  I  had  seen  the  sign,  and,  like  Sampson, 
when  leaning  against  the  pillar,  I  felt  the  power  of  God  nerve 
my  arm  for  the  fray.  It  helps  a  man  a  great  deal  in  a  fight  to 
know  that  God  is  on  his  side.  After  the  violence  had  ceased, 
Captain  Butler  called  the  Mormons  to  him,  and  as  he  stood  on  a 
pile  of  building  timber,  he  made  a  speech  to  the  brethren.  He 
said  that  his  ancestors  had  served  in  the  war  of  the  Revolution 
to  establish  a  free  and  independent  government — one  in  which 
all  men  had  equal  rights  and  privileges ;  that  he  professed  to  be 
half  white  and  free  born,  and  claimed  a  right  to  enjoy  his  con- 
stitutional privileges,  and  would  have  his  rights  as  a  citizen,  if 
he  had  to  fight  for  them ;  that  as  to  his  religion,  it  was  a  matter 
between  his  God  and  himself,  and  was  no  man's  business;  that 
he  would  vote,  and  would  die  before  he  would  be  driven  from 
the  polls.  Several  of  the  Gentile  leaders  then  requested  us  to 
lay  down  our  clubs  and  go  and  vote.  This  Captain  Butler  re- 
fused, saying,  "We  will  not  molest  any  one  who  lets  us  alone, 
but  we  will  not  risk  ourselves  again  in  that  crowd  without  our 
clubs."  The  result  was,  the  Mormons  all  voted.  It  is  surpris- 
ing what  a  few  resolute  men  can  do  when  united.  After  voting, 
the  Mormons  returned  home,  fearing  additional  violence  if  they 

It  may  be  well  for  purposes  of  explanation  to  refer  back  to 
the  celebration  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence  on  the  4th 
of  July,  1838,  at  Far  West.  That  day  Joseph  Smith  made  known 
to  the  people  the  substance  of  a  revelation  he  had  before  receiv- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  61 

ed  from  God.  It  was  to  the  effect  that  all  the  Saints  throughout 
the  land  were  required  to  sell  their  possessions,  gather  all  their 
money  together,  and  send  an  agent  to  buy  up  all  the  land  in  the 
region  round  about  Far  West,  and  get  a  patent  for  the  land  from 
the  Government,  then  deed  it  over  to  the  Church ;  then  every 
man  should  come  up  there  to  the  land  of  their  promised  inheri- 
tance and  consecrate  what  they  had  to  the  Lord.  In  return  the 
Prophet  would  set  apart  a  tract  of  land  for  each  Saint — the 
amount  to  correspond  with  the  number  of  the  Saint's  family — 
and  this  land  should  be  for  each  Saint  an  everlasting  inheritance. 
In  this  way  the  people  could,  in  time,  redeem  Zion  (Jackson 
County)  without  the  shedding  of  blood.  It  was  also  revealed 
that  unless  this  was  done,  in  accordance  with  God's  demand,  as 
required  by  Him  in  the  Revelation  then  given  to  the  people 
through  his  Prophet,  Joseph  Smith,  the  Saints  would  be  driven 
from  State  to  State,  from  city  to  city,  from  one  abiding  place  to 
another,  until  the  members  would  die  and  waste  away,  leaving 
but  a  remnant  of  the  Saints  to  return  and  receive  their  inheri- 
tance in  Zion  (Jackson  County)  in  the  Last  Days.  Sidney 
Rigdon  was  then  the  mouth-piece  of  Joseph  Smith,  as  Aaron  was 
of  Moses  in  olden  time.  Rigdon  told  the  Saints  that  day  that  if 
they  did  not  come  up  as  true  Saints  and  consecrate  their  prop- 
erty to  the  Lord,  by  laying  it  down  at  the  feet  of  the  apostles, 
they  would  in  a  short  time  be  compelled  to  consecrate  and  yield 
it  up  to  the  Gentiles.  That  if  the  Saints  would  be  united  as  one 
man,  in  this  consecration  of  their  entire  wealth  to  the  God  of 
Heaven,  by  giving  it  up  to  the  control  of  the  Apostolic  Priest- 
hood, then  there  would  be  no  further  danger  to  the  Saints ;  they 
would  no  more  be  driven  from  their  homes  on  account  of  their 
faith  and  holy  works,  for  the  Lord  had  revealed  to  Joseph  Smith 
that  He  would  then  fight  the  battles  of  His  children,  and  save 
them  from  all  their  enemies.  That  the  Mormon  people  would 
never  be  accepted  as  the  children  of  God  unless  they  were 
united  as  one  man,  in  temporal  as  well  as  spiritual  affairs,  for 
Jesus  had  said  unless  ye  are  one,  ye  are  not  mine  ;  that  oneness 
must  exist  to  make  the  Saints  the  accepted  children  of  God. 
That  if  the  Saints  would  yield  obedience  to  the  commands  of 
the  Lord  all  would  be  well,  for  the  Lord  had  confirmed  these 
promises  by  a  revelation  which  He  had  given  to  Joseph  Smith, 
in  which  it  was  said:  "I,  the  Lord,  will  fight  the  battles  of  my 
people,  and  if  your  enemies  shall  come  up  against  you,  spare 


them,  and  if  they  shall  come  up  against  you  again,  then  shall  ye 
spare  them  also ;  even  unto  the  third  time  shall  ye  spare  them  ; 
but  if  they  come  up  against  you  the  fourth  time,  I,  the  Lord, 
will  deliver  them  into  your  hands,  to  do  with  them  as  seemeth 
good  unto  you ;  but  if  you  will  then  spare  them  it  shall  be  ac- 
counted unto  you  for  righteousness." 

The  words  of  the  apostle,  and  the  promises  of  God,  as  then 
revealed  to  me,  made  a  deep  impression  on  my  mind,  as  it  did 
upon  all  who  heard  the  same.  We  that  had  given  up  all  else  for 
the  sake  of  the  gospel,  felt  willing  to  do  anything  on  earth  that 
it  was  possible  to  do,  to  obtain  the  protection  of  God,  and  have 
and  receive  His  smile  of  approbation.  Those  who,  like  me,  had 
full  faith  in  the  teachings  of  God,  as  revealed  by  Joseph  Smith, 
His  Prophet,  were  willing  to  comply  with  every  order,  and  to 
obey  every  wish  of  the  priesthood.  The  majority  of  the  people 
felt  like  Ananias  and  Sapphira,  they  dare  not  trust  all  to  God 
and  His  Prophet.  They  felt  that  their  money  was  as  safe  in  their 
own  possession  as  it  was  when  held  by  the  Church  authorities. 
A  vote  of  the  people  was  then  had  to  determine  the  question 
whether  they  would  consecrate  their  wealth  to  the  Church  or 
not.  The  vote  was  taken  and  was  unanimous  for  the  consecra- 
tion. I  soon  found  out  that  the  people  had  voted  as  I  have  often 
known  them  to  do  in  Mormon  meetings  since  then,  they  vote 
to  please  the  priesthood,  then  act  to  suit  themselves.  I  never 
thought  that  was  right  or  honest ;  men  should  vote  their  senti- 
ments, but  they  do  not  at  all  times  do  so.  I  have  been  the  vic- 
tim of  such  hyprocrites,  as  the  sequel  will  show. 

The  vote,  as  I  said,  was  taken.  It  was  done  by  a  show  of 
hands,  but  not  a  show  of  hearts.  By  the  readiness  with  which 
all  hands  went  up  in  favor  of  consecration,  it  was  declared  that 
the  people  were  of  a  truth  God's  children,  and  as  such,  would  be 
protected  by  him.  The  Prophet  and  all  his  priesthood  were  ju- 
bilant, and  could  hardly  contain  themselves ;  they  were  so  hap- 
py to  see  the  people  such  dutiful  Saints. 

Sidney  Rigdon,  on  that  day,  delivered  an  oration,  in  which  he 
said  the  Mormons  were,  as  a  people,  loyal  to  the  government, 
and  obedient  to  the  laws,  and  as  such,  they  were  entitled  to  the 
protection  of  the  government,  in  common  with  all  other  denom- 
inanations,  and  were  justified  in  claiming  as  full  protection,  in 
their  religious  matters,  as  the  people  of  any  other  sect.  That 
the  Mormons  had  long  suffered  from  mob  rule  and  violence,  but 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  63 

would  no  longer  submit  to  the  mob  or  unjust  treatment  that 
had  so  long  followed  them.  Now  and  forever  more  would  they 
meet  force  with  force.  "We  have  been  driven  from  Kirkland, 
Ohio,  from  Jackson  County,  the  true  Zion,  and  now  we  will 
maintain  our  rights,  defend  our  homes,  our  wives  and  children, 
and  our  property  from  mob  rule  and  violence.  If  the  Saints 
are  again  attacked,  we  will  carry  on  a  war  of  extermination 
against  our  enemies,  even  to  their  homes  and  firesides ;  until 
we  despoil  those  who  have  despoiled  us,  and  give  no  quarter  un- 
til our  enemies  are  wasted  away.  We  will  unfurl  to  the  breeze 
the  flag  of  our  nation,  and  under  that  banner  of  freedom  we  will 
maintain  our  rights,  or  die  in  the  attempt."  At  the  end  of  each 
sentence  Rigdon  was  loudly  cheered ;  and  when  he  closed  his 
oration,  I  believed  the  Mormons  could  successfully  resist  the 
world.  But  this  feeling  of  confidence  faded  away  as  soon  as  a 
second  thought  entered  my  mind.  I  then  feared  that  the  days 
of  liberty  for  our  people  had  been  numbered.  First,  I  feared 
the  people  would  not  give  up  all  their  worldly  possessions,  to  be 
disposed  of  by  and  at  the  will  and  pleasure  of  three  men.  In 
the  second  place,  I  doubted  the  people  being  so  fully  regenerated 
as  to  entitle  them  to  the  full  and  unconditional  support  and  fav- 
or of  God,  that  had  been  promised  through  the  Revelation  to 
Joseph  Smith,  in  favor  of  the  Latter  Day  Saints.  I  knew  that 
God  was  able  and  willing  to  do  all  He  had  promised,  but  I  feared 
that  the  people  still  loved  worldly  pleasures  so  well  that  God's 
mercy  would  be  rejected  by  them,  and  all  would  be  lost. 

About  three  days  after  the  proclamation  of  Rigdon  had  been 
made,  there  was  a  storm  of  rain,  during  which  the  thunder  and 
lightnings  were  constant  and  terrible.  The  liberty  pole  in  the 
town  was  struck  by  lightning,  and  shivered  to  atoms.  This 
evidence  from  the  God  of  nature  also  convinced  me  that  the 
Mormon  people's  liberties,  in  that  section  of  the  country,  were 
not  to  be  of  long  duration. 



THE  Saints  did  not  consecrate  their  possessions  as  they  had 
so  recently  voted  they  would  do ;  they  began  to  reflect,  and 
the  final  determination  was  that  they  could  manage  their  worldly 
effects  better  than  any  one  of  the  apostles ;  in  fact  better  than 
the  Prophet  and  the  priesthood  combined.  Individual  Saints 
entered  large  tracts  of  land  in  their  own  names,  and  thereby  se- 
cured all  of  the  most  desirable  land  round  about  Far  West. 
These  landed  proprietors  became  the  worst  kind  of  extortionists, 
and  forced  the  poor  Saints  to  pay  them  large  advances  for  every 
acre  of  land  that  was  settled,  and  nothing  could  be  called  free 
from  the  control  of  the  money  power  of  the  rich  and  head-strong 
Mormons  who  had  defied  the  revelations  and  wishes  of  God. 

So  things  went  from  bad  to  worse,  until  the  August  election 
at  Gallatin.  The  difficulty  on  that  day  had  brought  the  Church 
and  Saints  to  a  stand-still ;  business  was  paralyzed ;  alarm  seized 
the  stoutest  hearts,  and  dismay  was  visible  in  every  countenance. 
The  prophet  soon  issued  an  order  to  gather  all  the  people  at  Far 
West  and  Adam-on-Diamond,  under  the  leadership  of  Col.  Ly- 
man  White,  for  the  purpose  of  protecting  the  people  from  mob 
violence,  and  to  save  the  property  from  lawless  thieves  who  were 
roaming  the  country  in  armed  bands. 

The  Gentiles  and  Mormons  hastened  to  the  executive  of  the 
State.  The  Gentiles  asked  for  a  military  force  to  protect  the 
settlers  from  Mormon  violence.  The  Mormons  requested  an  in- 
vestigating committee  to  inquire  into  the  whole  subject  and  sug- 
gest means  necessary  for  future  safety  to  each  party. 

Also  they  demanded  military  protection  from  the  mobs  and 
outlaws  that  infested  the  country.  The  Governor  sent  son>~ 
troops  to  keep  order.  They  were  stationed  about  midway  Do- 
tween  Far  West  and  Adam-on-Diamond.  A  committee  was 
also  appointed  and  sent  to  Gallatin  to  inquire  into  the  recei>- 
disturbances.  This  committee  had  full  power  to  send  for  wi*> 

LIFE  Of  JOHN  D.  LEE.  65 

nesses,  make  arrests  of  persons  accused  of  crime,  and  generally 
to  do  all  things  necessary  for  a  full  and  complete  investigation 
of  the  entire  affair.  Many  arrests  were  made  at  the  request  of 
the  commmittee.  The  persons  so  arrested  were  taken  before 
Justice  Black,  of  Daviess  County,  and  examined ;  witnesses  were 
examined  for  both  parties,  and  much  hard  and  false  swearing 
was  done  on  both  sides.  After  a  long  and  fruitless  examination 
the  committee  adjourned,  leaving  the  military  to  look  after  mat- 
ters until  something  would  turn  up  to  change  the  feeling  of  dan- 
ger then  existing.  It  was  thought  by  the  committee  that  all 
would  soon  become  quiet  and  that  peace  would  soon  be  re- 
stored. The  Gentiles  of  the  country  were  dissatisfied  with  the 
action  of  the  committee,  and  were  in  no  way  disposed  to  accept 
peace  on  any  terms ;  they  determined  that,  come  what  would, 
the  Mormons  should  be  driven  from  the  State  of  Missouri.  Let- 
ters were  written  by  the  Gentiles  around  Far  West  to  all  parts 
of  the  State,  and  elsewhere,  giving  the  most  fearful  accounts  of 
Mormon  atrocities.  Some  of  the  writers  said  it  was  useless  to 
send  less  than  three  or  four  men  for  each  Mormon,  because  the 
Mormons  felt  sure  of  Heaven  if  they  fell  fighting,  hence  they 
did  not  fear  death;  that  they  fought  with  the  desperation  of 
devils.  Such  reports  spread  like  wild-fire  throughout  Northern 
Missouri,  and  thence  all  over  the  States  of  the  Mississippi  Val- 
ley, and  resulted  in  creating  a  feeling  of  the  most  intense  hatred 
in  the  breasts  of  all  the  Gentiles  against  the  Mormons.  Com- 
panies of  volunteers  were  raised  and  armed  in  every  town 
through  Northern  Missouri,  and  commenced  concentrating  in 
the  vicinity  of  the  Mormon  settlements.  The  troops  sent  by 
the  Governor  to  guard  the  settlers  and  preserve  order  soon  took 
part  with  the  mob,  and  all  show  for  legal  protection  was  gone, 
so  far  as  Mormons  were  concerned.  I  had  built  a  cabin  in  the 
valley  of  Adam-on-Diamond,  at  the  point  where  the  Prophet 
said  Adam  blessed  his  posterity  after  being  driven  from  the 
Garden  of  Eden.  The  condition  of  the  country  being  such 
that  we  could  not  labor  on  our  farms,  I  concluded  to  go 
and  hunt  for  wild  honey.  Several  of  my  neighbors  agreed  to 
join  me  in  my  bee  hunt,  and  we  started  with  our  teams,  and 
traveled  northeasterly  until  we  reached  the  heavy  timber  at  the 
three  forks  of  Grand  River.  We  camped  on  the  middle  fork  of 
Grand  River,  and  had  fine  success  in  securing  honey.  We  had 
been  out  at  camp  only  two  or  three  days  when  we  dis- 


covered  signs  of  armed  men  rushing  through  the  country.  On 
the  3rd  of  October,  1838,  we  saw  a  large  number  of  men  that  we 
knew  were  enemies  to  the  Mormons,  and  on  their  way,  as  we 
supposed,  to  attack  our  people  at  the  settlements.  I  concluded 
to  go  and  meet  them,  and  find  out  for  certain  what  they  were 
really  intending  to  do.  I  was  forced  to  act  with  caution,  for, 
if  they  discovered  that  we  were  Mormons,  our  lives  would  be 
taken  by  the  desperate  men  composing  the  mob  who  called 
themselves  State  volunteers. 

I  took  my  gun  and  carried  a  bucket  on  my  arm  and  started 
out  to  meet  the  people,  to  learn  their  intentions.  I  met  them 
soon  after  they  had  broken  camp  on  Sunday  morning.  As  soon 
as  I  saw  them  I  was  certain  they  were  out  hunting  for  Mormons. 
I  concluded  to  pass  myself  off  as  an  outsider,  the  better  to 
learn  their  history.  My  plan  worked  admirably.  I  stood  my 
ground  until  a  company  of  eighteen  men  rode  up  to  me,  and 
said  : 

"You  move  early." 

"  Not  so  d — d  early,  gentlemen ;  I  am  not  moving  any  sooner 
than  you  are.  What  are  you  all  doing  in  this  part  of  the  coun- 
try, armed  to  the  teeth  as  you  are  ?  Are  you  hunting  for  In- 

"  No,"  said  they,  "  but  we  wish  to  know  where  you  are  from, 
and  what  you  are  doing." 

"I  am  from  Illinois ;  there  are  four  of  us  who  have  come  out 
here  to  look  up  a  good  location  to  settle.  We  stopped  on  Mar- 
rowbone, and  did  think  of  staying  there,  until  the  settlers 
and  Mormons  got  into  a  row  at  Gallatin,  on  election  day. 
After  that  we  concluded  to  strike  out  and  see  what  this  country 
looked  like.  I  am  now  going  to  cut  a  bee  tree  that  I  found 
yesterday  evening,  and  I  brought  my  gun  along  so  that  if  I  met 
an  old  buck  I  could  secure  some  venison,  to  eat  with  my  honey- 

As  I  got  through  my  statement,  they  all  huddled  around  me, 
and  commenced  to  relate  the  horrors  of  Mormonism.  They 
advised  me  to  have  nothing  to  do  with  the  Mormons,  for  said 
they,  "As  old  Joe  Smith  votes,  so  will  every  Mormon  in  the 
country  vote,  and  when  they  get  into  a  fight,  they  are  just  the 
same  way,  they  stick  together;  when  you  attack  one  of  the 
crew  you  bring  every  one  of  them  after  you  like  a  nest  of 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  67 

I  said  I  had  heard  a  little  of  the  fuss  at  Gallatin,  but  did  not 
suppose  I  had  got  the  right  of  the  story,  and  would  be  glad  if 
they  would  tell  me  just  how  it  was.  I  should  like  to  learn  the 
facts  from  an  eye  witness.  Several  of  the  men  spoke  up  and 
said  they  were  there  and  saw  it  all.  They  then  told  the  story, 
and  did  the  Mormons  more  justice  than  I  expected  from  them. 

They  said,  among  other  things,  that  there  was  a  large  raw- 
boned  man  there,  who  spoke  in  tongues,  and  that  when  the  fight 
commenced  he  said,  "  Charge  Danites,"  and  if  ever  you  saw 
men  pitch  in  like  devils,  they  did  it  there.  Our  men  fell  thick 
as  hail  wherever  those  Danites  charged  with  their  clubs. 

They  then  said  the  Mormons  must  leave  the  country,  and  if 
we  do  not  make  them  do  so  now,  they  will  be  so  strong  that  we 
cannot  compel  them  to  go,  unless  we  force  them  away  ;  they  will 
be  so  strong  in  a  few  years  that  they  will  rule  the  country  as 
they  please.  That  another  band  of  men  would  come  along 
soon,  and  they  would  then  go  through  the  Mormon  settlements, 
and  burn  up  every  house,  and  lynch  every  d — d  Mormon  they 
could  find.  That  the  militia  had  been  sent  to  keep  order  in 
Daviess  County,  but  would  soon  be  gone,  and  the  work  of  destroy- 
ing the  Mormons  in  general  would  begin.  I  said,  "Give  them 
h — 1,  and  if  they  have  done  as  you  say  they  have,  pay  them  in 
their  own  coin." 

The  company  then  passed  on,  and  I  returned  with  a  heavy 
heart  to  my  friends.  I  advised  taking  an  immediate  start  for 
home,  and  in  a  few  minutes  we  were  on  our  way.  While  com- 
ing up  from  home  we  had  found  four  bee  trees,  that  we  left 
standing,  intending  to  cut  them  down  and  get  the  honey  as  we 
went  back.  When  we  got  on  the  prairie,  which  was  about  eight 
miles  across,  the  men  with  me  wanted  to  go  and  get  the  honey. 
I  was  fearful  that  the  people  I  had  met  in  the  morning  would 
attack  the  settlements,  and  I  wanted  to  go  directly  home  and  let 
trees  and  honey  alone. 

While  we  were  talking  the  matter  over,  a  single  black  bird 
came  to  us  apparently  in  great  distress.  It  flew  around  each  one 
of  us,  and  would  alight  on  the  head  of  each  one  of  our  horses,  and 
especially  on  my  horses'  heads,  and  it  even  came  and  alighted 
on  my  hat,  and  would  squeak  like  it  was  in  pain,  and  turn  its 
feathers  up,  and  acted  like  it  wished  to  warn  us  of  danger. 
Then  it  flew  off  towards  the  settlements  where  I  wished  to  go. 
All  admitted  that  they  were  strange  actions  for  a  bird,  but 


they  still  insisted  on  going  to  cut  the  bee  trees.  I  was  per- 
suaded to  go  with  them.  We  had  gone  a  quarter  of  a  mile  fur- 
ther, when  the  black  bird  returned  to  us  and  went  through  the 
same  performances  as  before,  and  again  flew  off  toward  the  set- 
tlement. This  was  to  me  a  warning  to  go  home  at  once,  that 
there  was  danger  there  to  my  family.  I  then  proposed  that  we 
all  join  in  prayer.  We  did  so,  and  I  prayed  to  the  Author  of 
our  existence,  and  asked  that  if  it  was  his  will  for  us  to  go  home 
at  once,  and  if  the  black  bird  had  been  sent  as  a  warning  mes- 
senger, to  let  it  return  again,  and  I  would  follow  it.  We  then 
traveled  on  some  two  miles,  when  the  messenger  returned  the 
third  time  and  appeared,  if  possible,  more  determined  than  be- 
fore to  turn  us  towards  home.  I  turned  my  team  and  started, 
as  straight  as  I  could  go,  for  Adam-on-Diamond.  As  we  passed 
over  the  prairie  we  saw  the  smoke  rising  from  many  farms  and 
houses  in  the  vicinity  of  where  we  had  left  our  bee  trees.  This 
smoke  showed  us  that  our  enemies  were  at  work,  and  that  had 
we  kept  on  in  the  course  we  were  first  intending  to  travel  we 
would  have  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  lawless  mob  and  lost 
our  lives.  Before  we  reached  home  the  news  of  the  attack  upon 
the  settlements  had  reached  there.  It  was  also  reported,  and 
we  afterwards  learned  that  the  report  was  true,  that  many  of 
the  Mormon  settlers  had  been  tied  to  trees  and  fearfully  whip- 
ped with  hickory  withes,  some  of  them  being  horribly  mangled 
by  the  mob.  This  conduct  on  the  part  of  the  Gentiles  roused 
every  Mormon  to  action,  and  the  excitement  was  very  great. 
Joseph  Smith,  the  Prophet,  was  sent  for.  In  the  meantime  Col. 
White  called  together  every  man  and  boy  that  could  carry  arms. 
When  the  forces  were  assembled  Col.  White  made  a  war  speech. 
As  he  spoke  he  stood  by  his  fine  brown  horse.  There  was  a  bear 
skin  on  his  saddle.  He  had  a  red  handkerchief  around  his  head, 
regular  Indian  fashion,  with  the  knot  in  front ;  bare  headed,  in 
his  shirt  sleeves,  with  collar  open,  showing  his  naked  breast. 
He  held  a  large  cutlass  in  his  right  hand.  His  manner  of  address 
struck  terror  to  his  enemies,  while  it  charged  his  brethren  with 
enthusiastic  zeal  and  forced  them  to  believe  they  were  invinci- 
ble and  bullet  proof.  We  were  about  three  hundred  and  sev- 
enty-five strong.  I  stood  near  Col.  White  while  he  was  speak- 
ing, and  I  judge  of  its  effect  upon  others  by  the  way  it  affected 

While  our  Colonel  was  in  the  midst  of  his  speech  the  aid-de- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  69 

camp  of  the  militia  Colonel  was  sent  with  a  dispatch  to  Col. 
White,  to  the  effect  that  the  militia  had  become  mutinous  and 
could  no  longer  be  controlled,  but  were  going  to  join  the  mob ; 
that  the  Colonel  would  disband  his  forces,  and  he  would  then  go 
and  report  to  the  Governor  the  true  condition  of  the  country ; 
that  Col.  White  must  take  and  make  use  of  all  the  means  in  his 
power  to  protect  the  people  from  the  mob,  for  the  government 
officers  were  powerless  to  aid  him.  The  aid  did  not  deliver  his 
message,  for  as  he  rode  up  close  to  where  Col.  White  was  stand- 
ing speaking  to  his  men,  he  stopped  and  listened  a  short  time ; 
then  wheeled  his  horse  and  rode  back  to  the  militia  camp  and 
reported  that  Col.  White  had  15,000  men  under  arms,  in  battle 
array,  and  would  be  upon  their  camp  in  less  than  two  hours ; 
that  he  was  then  making  a  speech  to  the  army,  and  that  it  was 
the  most  exciting  speech  he  had  ever  listened  to  in  his  life ;  that 
he  meant  war  and  that  of  the  most  fearful  kind ;  and  that  the 
only  safety  for  their  forces  was  in  instant  retreat.  The  soldiers 
broke  camp  and  left  in  haste.  I  cannot  say  that  the  Colonel 
commanding  the  militia  was  alarmed,  or  that  he  fled  through 
fear  of  being  overcome,  but  it  suited  him  to  leave  there,  for  he 
was  anxious  to  prevent  a  collision  between  his  troops  and  the 
men  under  Col.  White. 

The  Prophet,  Joseph  Smith,  when  informed  of  the  danger  of 
the  settlers  from  mob  violence,  sent  Maj.  Seymour  Brunson,  of 
Far  West,  with  fifty  men,  to  protect  the  settlers  who  lived  on  the 
two  forks  of  the  Grand  River.  Col.  White  kept  his  men  in 
readiness  for  action.  A  strong  guard  was  posted  round  the 
settlement ;  a  point  was  agreed  upon,  to  which  place  all  were  to 
hasten  in  case  of  alarm.  This  point  of  meeting  was  east  of  the 
town,  under  the  bluffs,  on  the  main  road  leading  from  Mill  Port 
to  Adam-on-Diamond.  This  road  ran  between  the  fields  and 

We  expected  to  be  attacked  every  hour.  A  few  nights  after- 
wards the  alarm  was  given,  and  every  man  rushed  to  the  field. 
When  I  reached  the  command,  I  found  everything  in  confusion. 
The  officer  in  command  tried  to  throw  two  companies  across  the 
road,  but  the  firing  was  heavy  and  constant  from  the  opposing 
forces,  who  had  selected  a  strong  point  for  the  purpose  of  attack 
and  defence.  The  flash  of  the  rifles,  and  the  ringing  reports  that 
echoed  through  the  hills  at  each  discharge  of  the  guns,  added  to 
the  confusion,  and  soon  forced  the  Mormons  to  take  up  their 


position  in  the  fence  corners  and  elsewhere,  so  they  could  be  in 
a  measure  protected  from  the  bullets  of  the  enemy.  Soon  there 
was  order  in  our  ranks,  and  we  were  prepared  to  dislodge  our 
opponents  or  die  in  the  attempt,  when  two  men  came  at  the 
full  speed  of  their  horses,  shouting,  "Peace,  peace,  cease  firing,, 
it  is  our  friends,"  etc.  Chapman  Duncan,  the  Adjutant  of  Col. 
White,  was  the  one  who  shouted  peace,  etc.  We  were  then  in- 
formed that  the  men  we  had  taken  for  a  part  of  the  Gentile  mob 
were  no  other  than  the  command  of  Maj.  Brunson,  who  had  been 
out  on  the  Three  Forks  of  Grand  River,  to  defend  the  settlers, 
and  that  he  had  been  ordered  back  to  the  main  body,  or  any  of 
the  Hosts  of  Israel ;  that  they  had  intended  to  stop  at  Mill  Port, 
but  finding  it  deserted,  they  concluded  to  alarm  the  troops  at 
Adam-on-Diamond,  so  as  to  learn  whether  they  would  fight  or 
not.  I  admit  that  I  was  much  pleased  to  learn  that  danger  was 
over,  and  that  we  were  facing  friends  and  not  enemies ;  yet  I 
was  mad  to  think  any  men  would  impose  upon  us  in  that  way. 
The  experiment  was  a  dangerous  one,  and  likely  to  be  very 
serious  in  its  consequences.  The  other  men  with  me  were 
equally  mad  at  the  insult  offered  by  those  who  had  been  so- 
foolish  as  to  question  our  bravery. 

By  the  efforts  of  our  officers  all  was  soon  explained,  and  amid 
peals  of  laughter  we  returned  to  our  homes. 

The  withdrawal  of  the  State  militia  was  the  signal  for  the 
Gentiles  and  Mormons  to  give  vent  to  the  worst  of  their  inclina- 
tions. The  Mormons,  at  command  of  the  Prophet,  at  once  aban- 
doned their  homes,  taking  what  could  be  carried  with  them,  and 
hastened  to  either  Far  West  or  Adam-on-Diamond  for  protec- 
tion and  safety.  Some  few  refused  to  obey  orders,  and  they 
afterwards  paid  the  penalty  for  disobedience  by  giving  up  their 
lives  to  the  savage  Gentiles  who  attacked  and  well  nigh  exter- 
minated them.  Armed  men  roamed  in  bands  all  over  Caldwell, 
Carroll,  and  Daviess  Counties ;  both  Mormons  and  Gentiles  were 
under  arms,  and  doing  injury  to  each  other  when  occasion  offer- 
ed. The  burning  of  houses,  farms,  and  stacks  of  grain  was 
generally  indulged  in  by  each  party.  Lawlessness  prevailed, 
and  pillage  was  the  rule. 

The  Prophet,  Joseph  Smith,  said  it  was  a  civil  war ;  that  by 
the  rules  of  war  each  party  was  justified  in  spoiling  his  enemy. 
This  opened  the  door  to  the  evil  disposed,  and  men  of  former 
quiet  became  perfect  demons  in  their  efforts  to  spoil  and  waste 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  71 

away  the  enemies  of  the  Church.  I  then  found  that  men  are 
creatures  of  circumstances,  and  that  the  occasion  calls  forth  the 
men  needed  for  each  enterprise.  I  also  soon  saw  that  it  was  the 
natural  inclination  of  men  to  steal,  and  convert  to  their  own  use 
that  which  others  possessed.  What  perplexed  me  most  was  to 
see  that  religion  had  not  the  power  to  subdue  that  passion  in 
man,  but  that  at  the  first  moment  when  the  restrictions  of  the 
Church  were  withdrawn,  the  most  devout  men  in  our  community 
acted  like  they  had  served  a  lifetime  in  evil,  and  were  natural- 
born  thieves. 

But  the  men  who  stole  then  were  not  really  honest,  for  I 
spotted  every  man  that  I  knew  to  steal  during  the  troubles  in 
Missouri  and  Illinois,  and  I  have  found  that  they  were  never 
really  converted,  were  never  true  Saints,  but  they  used  their 
pretence  of  religion  as  a  cloak  to  cover  their  evil  deeds.  I  have 
watched  their  rise  and  fall  in  the  Church,  and  I  know  from  their 
fate  that  honesty  is  the  only  true  policy. 

Being  young,  stout,  and  having  plenty  of  property,  I  fitted 
myself  out  in  first-class  style.  I  had  good  horses  and  plenty  of 
the  best  of  arms.  I  joined  in  the  general  patrol  duty,  and  took 
part  in  daily  raids  made  under  either  Major  Brunson  or  Capt. 
Alexander  McRay,  now  Bishop  of  a  Ward  in  Salt  Lake  City. 
I  saw  much  of  what  was  being  done  by  both  parties. 

I  also  made  several  raids  under  Captain  Jonathan  Dunham, 
alias  Black  Hawk.  I  remember  one  incident  that  was  amusing 
at  the  time,  as  it  enabled  us  to  determine  what  part  of  our 
forces  would  fight  on  the  field  and  face  the  enemy,  and  also 
those  who  preferred  to  fight  with  their  mouths. 

Early  in  the  morning,  while  Maj.  Brunson' s  men  were  march- 
ing along,  shivering  in  the  cold — for  it  was  a  dark,  cloudy 
morning,  late  in  October,  1838  —  we  saw  a  company  of 
horsemen  some  three  miles  away.  We  concluded  they  were 
Missourians,  and  made  for  them  at  full  speed.  They  halted  and 
appeared  willing  to  fight  us  when  our  command  got  within 
three  hundred  yards  of  them.  Many  of  our  pulpit  braves  found 
out  all  at  once  that  they  must  stop  and  dismount,  to  fix  their  sad- 
dles or  for  some  other  reason.  The  remainder  of  us  rode  on  until 
within  one  hundred  and  fifty  yards  of  the  other  force,  and  were 
drawn  up  in  line  of  battle.  Maj.  Brunson  rode  forward  and 
hailed  them,  saying, 

"  Who  are  you  ?" 

"Capt.  McRay,"  was  the  reply.     "Who  are  you  ?" 


"  Maj.  Branson." 

They  met  and  shook  hands.  Seeing  this  the  pulpit  braves 
rushed  up  in  great  haste  and  took  their  places  in  the  ranks,  and 
lamented  because  we  did  not  have  an  enemy  to  overcome. 

So  it  is  through  life — a  coward  is  generally  a  liar ;  those  men 
were  cowards,  and  lied  when  they  pretended  they  would  like  to 
fight.  All  cowards  are  liars,  but  many  liars  are  brave  men. 

While  I  was  engaged  with  the  Mormon  troops  in  ranging 
over  the  country,  the  men  that  I  was  with  took  a  large  amount  of 
loose  property,  but  did  not  while  I  was  with  them  burn  any 
houses  or  murder  any  men.  Yet  we  took  what  property  we 
could  find,  especially  provisions,  fat  cattle  and  arms  and  ammu- 
nition. But  still  many  houses  were  burned  and  much  damage 
was  done  by  the  Mormons,  and  they  captured  a  howitzer  and 
many  guns  from  the  Gentiles.  Frequent  attacks  were  made 
upon  the  Mormon  settlements.  The  Mormons  made  an  attack 
on  Gallatin  one  night,  and  carried  off  much  plunder.  I  was  not 
there  with  them,  but  I  talked  often  with  them  and  learrfed  all 
the  facts  about  it.  The  town  was  burnt  down,  and  everything 
of  value,  including  the  goods  in  two  stores,  was  carried  off  by 
the  Mormons.  I  often  escaped  being  present  with  the  troops 
on  their  thieving  expeditions,  by  loaning  my  horses  and  arms  to 
others  who  liked  that  kind  of  work  better  than  I  did.  Unless  I 
had  adopted  that  course  I  could  never  have  escaped  from  being 
present  with  the  Hosts  of  Israel  in  all  their  lawless  acts,  for  I 
was  one  of  the  regular  Host,  and  I  could  not  escape  going  when 
ordered,  unless  I  furnished  a  substitute,  which  sometimes  was 
accepted,  but  not  always.  A  company  went  from  Adam-on-Dia- 
mond  and  burned  the  house  and  buildings  belonging  to  my 
friend  McBrier.  Every  article  of  moveable  property  was  taken 
by  the  troops ;  he  was  utterly  ruined.  This  man  had  been  a 
friend  to  me  and  many  others  of  the  brethren ;  he  was  an  hon- 
orable man,  but  his  good  character  and  former  acts  of  kindness 
had  no  effect  on  those  who  were  working,  as  they  pretended,  to 
build  up  the  Kingdom  of  God.  The  Mormons  brought  in  every 
article  that  could  be  used,  and  much  that  was  of  no  use  or  value 
was  hauled  to  Adam-on-Diamond.  Men  stole  simply  for  Jjhe 
love  of  stealing.  Such  inexcusable  acts  of  lawlessness  had  the 
effect  to  arouse  every  Gentile  in  the  three  Counties  of  Cald \vell, 
Carroll  and  Daviess,  as  well  as  to  bring  swarms  of  armed  Gen- 
tiles from  other  localities. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  73 

Lyman  White,  with  three  hundred  men,  was  called  to  defend 
Far  West.  I  went  with  his  command.  The  night  White 
reached  Far  West,  the  battle  of  Crooked  River  was  fought. 
Captain  David  Pattoii,  alias  Fear  Not,  one  of  the  twelve  apos- 
tles, was  sent  out  by  the  prophet  with  fifty  men,  to  attack  a 
body  of  Missourians,  who  were  camping  on  the  Crooked  River. 
Captain  Patton's  men  were  nearly  all,  if  not  every  one  of  them, 
Danites.  The  attack  was  made  just  before  daylight  in  the 
morning.  Captain  Fear  Not  wore  a  white  blanket  overcoat,  and 
led  the  attacking  party.  He  was  a  brave,  impulsive  man.  He 
rushed  into  the  thickest  of  the  fight,  regardless  of  danger — realty 
seeking  it  to  show  his  men  that  God  would  shield  him  from  all 
harm.  But  he  counted,  without  just  reason,  upon  being  invinci- 
ble, for  a  ball  soon  entered  his  body,  passing  through  his  hips, 
and  cutting  his  bladder.  The  wound  was  fatal ;  but  he  kept  on 
his  feet,  and  led  his  men  some  time  before  yielding  to  the  effects 
of  the  wound.  The  Gentiles  said  afterwards  that  Captain  Pat- 
ton  told  his  men  to  charge  in  the  name  of  Lazarus,  "Charge, 
Daniles,  charge !  "  and  that  as  soon  as  he  uttered  the  command, 
which  distinguished  him,  they  gave  the  Danite  Captain  a  com- 
mission with  powder  and  ball,  and  sent  him  on  a  mission  to 
preach  to  the  spirits  that  were  in  prison.  In  this  battle  several 
men  were  killed  and  wounded  on  both  sides.  I  do  not  remem- 
ber all  of  the  names  of  the  Danites  that  were  killed,  but  I  do  re- 
member that  a  man  by  the  name  of  Banion  was  killed,  and  one  by 
the  name  of  Jas.  Holbrook  was  wounded.  I  knew  a  man  by  the 
name  of  Tarwater,  on  the  Gentile  side,  that  was  cut  up  fearfully. 
He  was  taken  prisoner.  The  Danites  routed  the  Gentiles,  who 
fled  in  every  direction.  The  night  being  dark,  Jas.  Holbrook 
and  another  Danite.  met,  and  had  a  hand-to-hand  fight,  in  which 
they  cut  each  other  fearfully  with  their  swords  before  they  dis- 
covered that  they  were  friends.  After  the  Gentiles  retreated, 
the  Mormons  started  for  Far  West,  taking  Tarwater  along  as 
a  prisoner.  After  traveling  several  miles,  they  halted  in  a  grove 
of  timber,  and  released  Tarwater,  telling  him  he  was  free  to  go 
home.  He  started  off,  and  when  he  was  some  forty  yards  from 
the  Mormons,  Parkjy  P_.  .Pratt,  then  one  of  the  Twelve  Apostles, 
stepped  up  to  a  tree,  laid  his  gun  up  by  the  side  of  the  tree, 
took  deliberate  aim,  and  shot  Tarwater.  He  fell  and  lay  still. 
The  Mormons,  believing  he  was  dead,  went  on  and  left  him  ly- 
ing where  he  fell.  Tarwater  came  to,  and  reached  home,  where 



he  was  taken  care  of,  and  soon  recovered  from  his  wounds.  He- 
afterwards  testified  in  court  against  the  Mormons  that  he  knew, 
and  upon  his  evidence  Pajclgy  P.  Pratt  was  imprisoned  in  the 
Richmond  jail,  in  1839. 

I  must  remind  the  reader  that  I  am  writing  in  prison,  and  am 
not  allowed  to  have  a  book  of  reference,  and  as  most  of  my 
private  writings  and  journals  have  been  heretofore  delivered  to 
the  agents  of  Brigham  Young,  and  all  have  been  destroyed,  or 
at  least  kept  from  me,  I  am  forced  to  rely  on  my  memory  for 
names  and  dates,  and  if  I  make  mistakes  in  either,  this  must  be. 
my  excuse. 



A  FTER  1844,  it  was  my  habit  to  keep  a  journal,  in  which  I 
-L\-  wrote  at  length  all  that  I  considered  worthy  of  remember- 
ing. Most  of  my  journals,  written  up  to  1860,  were  called  for 
by  Brigham  Young,  under  the  plea  that  he  wished  the  Church 
historian  to  write  up  the  Church  history,  and  wished  my  j.ouj> 
nal  to  aid  him  in  making  the  history  perfect.  As  these  jour- 
nals contained  many  things  not  intended  for  the  public  eye,  and" 
especially  very  much  concerning  the  crimes  of  Mormon  leaders 
in  Southern  Utah  and  elsewhere,  and  all  I  knew  of  the  Moun- 
tain Meadows  Majsacre,  and  what  led  to  it,  they  were  never 
returned  to  me.  I  suppose  they  were  put  out  of  the  way,  per- 
haps burned,  for  these  journals  gave  an  account  of  many  djij:k 

I  was  at  Far  West  when  the  Danites  returned.  They  brought 
Captain  Patton  with  them.  He  died  that  night,  and  his  death 
spread  a  mantle  of  gloom  over  the  entire  community.  It  robbed 
many  of  their  fond  hope  that  they  were  invincible.  If  Fear 
Not  could  bigJdUed,  who  could  claim  immunity  from  the  missiles 
of  de^th,  hurled  by  Gentile  weapons  ? 

I  %dtnit  up  to  this  time  Ijinnly  believed  what  the  Prophet  and 
his  apostles  had  said  on  that  subject.  I  had  considered  thjitj: 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  7& 

was  bullet  proof,  that  no  Gentile  ball  could  ever  harm  me,  or  any 
Saint,  and  I  had  believed  that  a  Da_nite  could  not  be  killed  by 
Gentile_  hands.  I  thought  that  one  Danite  could  chase  a  thou- 
sand Gentiles,  and  two  could  put  ten_thousand  to  flight.  Alas  I 
m}'  dream  of  security  was  over.  One  of  our  mighty  men  had 
fallen,  and  that  by  Gentile  hands.  My  amazement  at  the  fact 
was  equal  to  my  sorrow  for  the  death  of  the  great  warrior  apos- 
tle. I  had  considered  that  all  the  battles  between  Danites  and 
Gentiles  would  end  like  the  election  fight  at  Galjatin,  and  that 
'the  only  ones  to  be  injured  would  be  the  Gentiles.  We  had 
been  promised  and  taught  by  the  Prop_&etand  his  priesthood  that 
henceforth  God  would  fight  our  battles,  and  I  looked  as  a  con- 
sequence for  a  bloodjess  victory  on  the  side  of  the  Lord,  and 
that  nothing  but  disobedience  to  the  teachings  of  the  priesthood 
could  render  a  Mormon  subject  to  injury  from  Gentile  forces. 
I  believed  as  our  leaders  taught  us,  that  all  our  sufferings  and 
persecutions,  were  brought  upon  us  by  the  all-wise  God  of 
Heaven,  as  chastisement  to  bring  us  together  in  unity  of  £aith 
and  strict  obedience  to  the  requirements  of  the  Gospel ;  and  the 
feeling  was  general,  that  all  our  sufferings  were  the  result  of  in- 
dividual sin,  and  not  the  fault  of  our  leaders  and  spiritual 
guides.  "We,  as  members  of  the  Church,  had  no  right  to  ques- 
tion an}T  act  of  our  supe_rjors ;  to  do  so  wounded  the  Spirit  of 
God,  and  lead  to  our  own  loss  and  confusion. 

I  was  thunderstruck  to  hear  Joseph  Smith,  the  apostle,  say  at 
the  funeral  of  Capt.  Patton  that  the  Mormons  fell  by  the  missiles 
of  death  the  same  as  other  men.  He  also  said  that  the  Lord  was 
angry  with  the  people,  for  they  had  been  unbelieving  and  faith- 
less ;  they  had  denied  the  Lord  the  use  of  their  earthly  treas- 
ures, and  placed  their  affections  upon  worldly  things  more  than 
they  had  upon  heavenly  things;  that  to  expect  God's  favor  we 
must  blindly  trust  him ;  that  if  the  Mormons  would  wholly  trust 
in  God  the  windows  of  heaven  would  be  opened  and  a  shower  of 
blessings  sent  upon  the  people ;  that  all  the  people  could  contain 
of  blessings  would  be  given  as  a  reward  for  obedience  to'  the  will 
of  God  as  made  known  to  mankind  through  the  Prophet  of  the 
ever-living  God ;  that  the  Morjnpns,  if  faithful,  obedient  and 
true  followers  of  the  advice  of  their  leaders,  would  soon  enjoy 
all  the  wealth  of  the  earth,;  that  God  would  consecrate  the  riciies 
of  the  Gentiles  to  the  Saints.  This  and  much  more  he  said  to 
induce  the  people  to  obey  the  will  of  the  priesthood.  I  believed 


all  he  said,  for  he  supported  it  by  quotations  from  Scripture,  and 
if  I  believed  the  Bible,  as  I  did  most  implicitly,  I  could  not  help 
believing  in  Joseph  Smith,  the  Prophet  of  God  in  these  last  days. 
Joseph  Smith  declared  that  he  was  called  of  God  and  given 
power  and  authority  from  heaven  to  do  God's  will ;  that  he  had 
received  the  keys  of  the  holy  priesthood  from  the  apostles  Peigr, 
James  and  John,  and  had  been  dedicated,  setjipart  and  anointed 
as  the^prop_het,  seer  and  revelator ;  sent  to  open  the  dispensation 
of  the  fullness  of  time,  according  to  the  words  of  the  apostles ; 
that  he  was  charged  with  the  restoration  of  the  house  of  Igrael, ' 
and  to  gather  the  Saints  from  the  four  corners  of  the  earth  to  the 
land  of  promise,  Zi^m,  the  Holy  Land  ( Jaekson_Cpunty),  and  set- 
ting up  the  kingdom  of  Qpd  preparatory  to  the  second  coming 
of  Christ  in  the  last  days. 

Every  Mormon,  if  true  to  his  faith,  believed  as  fully  in  Joseph 
Smith  and  his  holy  character  as  they  did  that  God  existed. 

Joseph  Smith  was  a  most  extraordinary  man ;  he  was  rather 
large  in  stature,  some  six  feet  two  inches  in  height,  well  built, 
though  a  little  stoop-shouldered,  prominent  and  well-developed 
features,  a  Roman  nose,  light  chestnut  hair,  upper  lip  full  and 
rather  protruding,  chin  broad  and  square,  an  eagle  eye,  and  on 
the  whole  there  was  something  in  his  manner  and  appearance 
that  was  bewitching  and  winning ;  his  countenance  was  that  of 
a  plain,  honest  man,  full  of  benevolence  and  philanthropy  and 
void  of  deceit  or  hypocrisy.  He  was  resolute  and  firm  of  pur- 
pose, strong  as  most  men  in  physical  power,  and  all  who  saw 
were  forced  to  admire  him,  as  he  then  looked  and  existed. 

In  the  sports  of  the  day,  such  as  wrestling,  etc.,  he  was  over 
an  average.  Very  few  of  the  Saints  had  the  strength  needed  to 
throw  the  Prophet  in  a  fair  tassel ;  in  every  gathering  he  was  a 
welcome  guest,  and  always  added  to  the  amusement  of  the  peo- 
ple, instead  of  dampening  their  ardor.  During  the  time  that 
we  were  camping  at  Adam-on-Diamond,  waiting  to  see  what 
would  be  the  result  of  the  quarrel  between  our  Church  and  the 
Gentiles,  one  Sunday  morning  (it  had  rained  heavily  the  night 
before  and  the  air  was  cold)  the  men  were  shivering  over  a  few 
fire-brands,  feeling  out  of  sorts  and  quite  cast  down.  The 
Prophet  came  up  while  the  brethren  were  moping  around,  and 
caught  first  one  and  then  another  and  shook  them  up,  and  said, 
"Get  out  of  here,  and  wrestle,  jump,  run,  do  anything  but 
mope  around ;  warm  yourselves  up ;  this  inactivity  will  not  do 

(The  Founder  and  first  Prophet  of  the  Mormon  Church.) 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  77 

for  soldiers."  The  words  of  the  Prophet  put  life  and  energy 
into  the  men.  A  ring  was  soon  formed,  according  to  the  cus- 
tom of  the  people.  The  Prophet  stepped  into  the  ring,  ready 
for  a  tussel  with  any  comer.  Several  went  into  the  ring  to  try 
their  strength,  but  each  one  was  thrown  by  the  Prophet,  until 
he  had  thrown  several  of  the  stoutest  of  the  men  present. 
Then  he  stepped  out  of  the  ring  and  took  a  man  by  the  arm 
and  led  him  in  to  take  his  place,  and  so  it  continued — the  men 
who  were  thrown  retiring  in  favor  of  the  successful  one.  A 
man  would  keep  the  ring  so  long  as  he  threw  his  adversary. 
The  style  of  wrestling  varied  with  the  desires  of  the  parties. 
The  Eastern  men,  or  Yankees,  used  square  hold,  or  collar  and 
elbow ;  those  from  the  Middle  States  side  hold,  and  the  South- 
ern and  Western  men  used  breeches  hold  and  old  Indian  hug  or 
back  hold.  If  a  man  was  hurt  he  stood  it  without  a  murmur ; 
it  was  considered  cowardly  and  childish  to  whine  when  thrown 
down  or  hurt  in  the  fall. 

While  the  sport  was  at  its  height  Sidney  Rigdon,  the  mouth- 
piece of  the  Prophet,  rushed  into  the  ring,  sword  in  hand,  and 
said  that  he  would  not  suffer  a  lot  of  men  to  break  the  Sabbath 
day  in  that  manner.  For  a  moment  all  were  silent,  then  one  of 
the  brethren,  with  more  presence  of  mind  than  the  others, 
said  to  the  Prophet,  "  Brother  Joseph,  we  want  you  to  clear  us 
from  blame,  for  we  formed  the  ring  by  your  request.  You  told 
us  to  wrestle,  and  now  Brother  Rigdon  is  bringing  us  to  account 
for  it." 

The  Prophet  walked  into  the  ring  and  said,  as  he  made  a 
motion  with  his  hand:  "  Brother  Sidney,  you  had  better  go  out 
of  here  and  let  the  boys  alone ;  they  are  amusing  themselves  ac- 
cording to  my  orders.  You  are  an  old  man.  You  go  and  get 
ready  for  meeting  and  let  the  boys  alone."  Just  then  catching 
Rigdon  off  his  guard,  as  quick  as  a  flash  he  knocked  the 
sword  fromRigdon's  hand,  then  caught  him  by  the  shoulder,  and 
said:  "Now,  old  man,  you  must  go  out,  or  I  will  throw  you 
down."  Rigdon  was  as  large  a  man  as  the  Prophet,  but  not  so 
tall.  The  prospect  of  a  tussel  between  the  Prophet  and  the 
mouthpiece  of  the  Prophet,  was  fun  for  all  but  Rigdon,  who 
pulled  back  like  a  craw-fish,  but  the  resistance  was  useless,  the 
Prophet  dragged  him  from  the  ring,  bareheaded,  and  tore 
Rigdon' s  fine  pulpit  coat  from  the  collar  to  the  waist;  then  he 
turned  to  the  men  and  said:  "  Go  in,  boys,  and  have  your  fun. 


You  shall  never  have  it  to  say  that  I  got  you  into  any  trouble 
that  I  did  not  get  you.  out  of." 

Rigdon  complained  about  the  loss  of  his  hat  and  the  tearing 
of  his  coat.  The  Prophet  said  to  him:  "  You  were  out  of  your 
place.  Always  keep  your  place  and  you  will  not  suffer;  but 
you  got  a  little  out  of  your  place  and  you  have  suffered  for  it. 
You  have  no  one  to  blame  but  yourself."  After  that  Rigdon 
never  countermanded  the  orders  of  the  Prophet,  to  my  knowl- 
edge— he  knew  who  was  boss. 

An  order  had  been  issued  by  the  Church  authorities  com- 
manding all  of  the  members  of  the  Mormon  Church  to  leave 
their  farms,  and  to  take,  such  property  as  they  could  remove, 
and  go  to  one  of  the  two  fortified  camps — that  is  Far  West  or 
Adam-on-Diamond.  A  large  majority  of  the  settlers  obeyed, 
and  the  two  camps  were  soon  full  of  people  who  had  deserted 
home  again  for  the  sake  of  the  gospel. 

There  was  a  settlement  on  Log  Creek,  between  three  and  five 
miles  east  from  Far  West.  It  was  quite  a  rich  settlement.  A 
man  named  Haughn  had  just  completed  a  good  flouring 
mill  on  the  creek.  The  morning  after  the  battle  of  Crooked 
River,  Haughn  came  to  Far  West  to  consult  with  the  Prophet 
concerning  the  policy  of  the  removal  of  the  settlers  on  Log  Creek 
to  the  fortified  camps.  Col.  White  and  myself  were  standing  by 
when  the  Prophet  said  to  him:  "Move  in,  by  all  means,  if  you 
wish  to  save  your  lives."  Haughn  replied  that  if  the  settlers 
left  their  homes  all  of  their  property  would  be  lost,  and  the 
Gentiles  would  burn  their  houses  and  other  buildings.  The 
Prophet  said:  "  You  had  much  better  lose  your  property  than 
your  lives,  one  can  be  replaced,  the  other  cannot  be  restored ; 
but  there  is  no  need  of  your  losing  either  if  you  will  only  do  as 
you  are  commanded."  Haughn  said  that  he  considered  the 
best  plan  was  for  all  of  the  settlers  to  move  into  and  around  the 
mill,  and  use  the  blacksmith's  shop  and  other  buildings  as  a  fort 
in  case  of  attack  ;  in  this  way  he  thought  they  would  be  perfect- 
ly safe.  "  You  are  at  liberty  to  do  so  if  you  think  best,"  said 
the  Prophet.  Haughn  then  departed,  well  satisfied  that  he  had 
carried  his  point. 

The  Prophet  turned  to  Col.  White  and  said:  "That  man  did 
not  come  for  counsel,  but  to  induce  me  to  tell  him  to  do  as  he 
pleased ;  which  I  did.  Had  I  commanded  them  to  move  in  here 
and  leave  their  property,  they  would  have  called  me  a  tyrant. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  79 

I  wish  they  were  here  for  their  own  safety.  I  am  confident  that, 
•we  will  soon  learn  that  they  have  been  butchered  in  a  fearful 

At  this  time  the  Missourians  had  determined  to  exterminate^ 
the  whole  of  the  Mormon  people.  Governor  Lilburn  W.  Boggs 
issued  orders  to  that  effect.  I  think  General  Clark  was  the  officer 
in  command  of  all  the  Gentile  forces.  Gen.  Atchjson  and  Gen. 
Doniphan  each  commanded  a  division  of  from  three  to  eight 
thousand  men,  and  they  soon  besieged  Far  West.  The  Mor- 
mons fortified  the  town  as  well  as  they  could,  and  took  special 
care  to  fortify  and  build  shields  and  breastworks,  to  prevent  the 
cavalry  from  charging  into  the  town.  The  Gentile  forces  were 
mostly  camped  on  Log  Creek,  between  the  town  of  Far  West  and 
Haughn's  Mill,  and  about  a  mile  from  Far  West,  and  about  half 
a  mile  south  of  our  outer  breastworks.  Our  scouts  and  picket 
guards  were  driven^  in,  and  forced  to  join  the  main  rajiks  for 
safety.  The  Mormon  troops  were  placed  in  position  by  ^he  offi- 
cers, so  as  to  guard  every  point.  Each  man  had  a  large  supply 
of  bullets,  with  the  patching  sewed  on  the  balls  to  facilitate  the 
loading  of  our  guns,  which  were  all  muzzle  loaders.  The  Mor- 
mon force  was  about  eight  hundred  strong,  poorly  armed  ;  many 
of  the  men  had  no  guns ;  some  had  single-barrel  pistols,  and  a 
few  had  home-made  swords.  These  were  all  of  our  implements 
of  war.  So  situated,  we  were  still  anxious  to  meet  the  enemy, 
and  demanded  to  be  led  out  against  our  foes.  Our  men  were 
confident  that  God  was  going  to  deliver  the  enemy  into  our 
hands,  and  so  we  had  no  fears.  I  was  one  of  the  advance  force, 
and  as  I  lay  behind  some  timber,  with  my  cap-box  open,  and  bul- 
lets lying  on  the  ground  by  my  side,  I  never  had  a  doubt  of 
being  able  to  defeat  the  Gentile  army.  The  troops  lay  and 
•watched  each  other  two  days,  then  the  Gentiles  made  two  efforts 
to  force  their  way  into  the  town  by  stratagem ;  but  seeing  our 
forces  in  order,  they  did  not  come  within  range__of  our  guns. 
The  Mormons  stood  in  the  ranks,  and  prayed  for  the  chance  of 
getting  a  sl\ot ;  but  all  to  no  effect.  The  same  evening  we  learned 
of  the  massacre  at  Haughn's  Mill.  The  description  of  this  mas- 
sacre was  such  as  to  freeze  the  blood  of  each  Saint,  and  force 
them  to  swear  revenge  should  come  some  day. 

-was  reported  about  as  follows  to  us  at  Far  West.     When  the 


Gentile  mob  attacked  the  Mormons  at  the  mill  the  Mor- 
mons took  shelter  in  the  blacksmith  shop  and  other  buildings. 
The  mob  took  advantage  of  the  banks  of  the  creek  and  the  tim- 
ber, and  very  nearly  surrounded  the  shop,  which  was  built  of 
logs,  and  served  as  a  slaughter-house  instead  of  a  shelter  or 
protection.  The  mob,  while  protected  as  they  were,  shot  down 
the  Mormons  at  their  leisure.  Tiiey  killed  eighteen  and  wound- 
ed as  many  more ;  in  fact  they  killed  and  wounded  every  one 
who  did  not  run  away  during  the  fight  and  take  refuge  in  the 
woods.  After  shooting  down  all  that  could  be  seen,  the  mob  en- 
tered the  blacksmith  shop  and  there  found  a  young  lad  who 
had  secreted  himself  under  the  bellows.  One  of  the  men  said, 
"Don't  shoot;  it  is  but  a  small  boy."  The  reply  was,  "  Nits  will 
make  lice  ;  it  is  best  to  save  them  when  we  can."  Thus  saying, 
they  shot  the  little  fellow  where  he  lay.  There  was  an  old  man 
in  the  settlement  by  the  name  of  McEride,  who  had  been  a  sol- 
dier in*he  Revolutionary  war ;  he  was  killed  by  being  hacked 
to  pieces  with  a  corn-cutter  while  begging  for  his  life.  The  dead 
and  wounded  were  thrown  into  a  well  all  together.  Several 
of  the  wounded  were  afterwards  taken  out  of  the  well  by  the 
force  that  went  from  Far  West,  and  recovered  from  their 
wounds.  So  great  was  the  hatred  of  the  mob  that  they  saved 
none,  but  killed  all  who  fell -into  their  hands  at  that  time.  I 
received  my  information  of  the  massacre  from  David  Lewis, 
Tarleton  Lewis,  William  Laney  and  Isaac  Laney ;  they  were 
Kentuckians,  and  were  also  in  the  fight,  but  escaped  death. 
V  Isaac  Laney  was  shot  seven  times,  leaving  thirteen  ball  holes  in 
his  person ;  five  of  the  shots  were  nearly  in  the  centre  of  the 
chest;  one  entered  under  the  right  arm,  passed  through  the 
body  and  came  out.  under  the  left  arm ;  yet,  strange  as  it  ap- 
pears, he  kept  his  feet,  so  he  informed  me,  and  ran  some  three 
hundred  yards  to  a  cabin,  where  a  woman  raised  a  loose  plank 
of  the  cabin  floor,  and  he  lay  down  and  she  replaced  the  boards. 
The  mob  left,  and  in  about  two  hours  Laney  was  taken  from 
under  the  cabin  floor  nearly  lifeless.  He  was  then  washed, 
anointed  with  oil,  the  elders  praying  for  his  recoveiy,  according 
to  the  order  of  the  Holy  Priesthood,  and  he  was  promised, 
through  prayer  and  faith  in  God,  speedy  restoration.  The  pain 
at  once  left  him,  and  for  two  weeks  he  felt  no  pain  at  all.  He 
then  took  cold,  and  the  wound  in  his  hips  pained  him  for  some 
two  hours,  when  the  elders  repeated  their  prayers  and  again 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  81 

anointed  him,  which  had  the  effect  desired.  The  pain  left  him, 
and  never  returned.  I  heard  Laney  declare  this  to  be  a  fact, 
and  he  bore  his  testimony  in  the  presence  of  many  of  the  Saints. 
I  saw  him  four  weeks  after  the  massacre  and  examined  his  per- 
son. I  saw  the  wounds,  then  healed.  I  felt  of  them  with  uiy 
own  hands,  and  I  saw  the  shirt  and  examined  it,  that  he  had 
on  when  he  was  shot,  and  it  was  cut  in  shreds.  Many  balls  had 
cut  his  clothing,  that  had  not  touched  his  person. 

The  massacre  at  Haughn's  Mill  was  the  result  of  the  breth- 
ren's refusal  to  obey  the  wishes  of  the  Prophet.  All  the  breth- 
ren so  considered  it.  It  made  a  deep  and  lasting  impression  on 
my  mind,  for  I  had  heard  the  Prophet  give  the  counsel  to  the 
brethren  to  come  into  the  town.  They  had  refused,  and  the  re- 
sult was  a  lesson  to  all  that  there  was  no  safety  except  in  obey- 
ing the  Prophet. 

Col.  George  M.  Hinkle  had  command  of  the  troops  at  Far 
West,  under  Joseph  Smith.  He  was  from  Kentucky,  and  was 
considered  a  fair  weather  Saint.  When  danger  came  he  was 
certain  to  be  on  the  strong  side.  He  was  a  fine  speaker,  and 
had  great  influence  with  the  Saints. 

Previous  to  the  attack  on  Far  West,  Col.  Hinkle  had  come  to  an 
understanding  with  the  Gentile  commanders  that  in  case  the 
danger  grew  great,  they  could  depend  on  him  as  a  friend  and 
one  through  whom  they  could  negotiate  and  learn  the  situa- 
tion of  affairs  in  the  camp  of  the  Saints.  When  our  scouts 
were  first  driven  in  Col.  Hinkle  was  out  with  them,  and  when 
they  were  closely  pursued  he  turned  his  coat  wrong  side  out  and 
wore  it  so.  This  was  a  peculiar  move,  but  at  the  time  it  did  not 
cause  much  comment  among  his  men,  but  they  reported  it 
to  the  Prophet,  and  he  at  once  became  suspicious  of  the  Colonel. 
The  Prophet,  being  a  man  of  thought  and  cool  reflection,  kept 
this  information  within  a  small  circle,  as  that  was  a  bad  time 
to  ventilate  an  act  of  that  kind.  The  Prophet  concluded  to 
make  use  of  the  knowledge  he  had  gained  of  Hinkle's  charac- 
ter, and  use  him  to  negotiate  between  the  two  parties.  I  do  not 
believe  that  Joseph  Smith  had  the  least  idea  that  he,  with  his 
little  handful  of  men,  could  stand  off  that  army  that  had  come  up 
against  him.  I  know  that  now,  but  at  that  time  I  was  full  of 
religious  zeal  and  felt  that  the  Mormon  Hosts  of  Israel  were 
invincible.  Joseph  wished  to  use  Hinkle  to  learn  the  destin}-of 
the  Gentiles,  so  that  he  could  prepare  for  the  worst.  Col. 


Hinkle  was  sent  out  by  Joseph  to  have  an  interview  with  the 

The  Colonel  returned  and  reported  to  Joseph  Smith  the  terms 
proposed  by  the  Gentile  officers.  The  terms  offered  were  as 
follows:  Joseph  Smith  and  the  leading  men  of  the  Church,  Rig- 
don,  Lyman  White,  P.  P.  Pratt,  Phelps  and  others,  were  to 
give  themselves  up  without  delay,  the  balance  of  the  men  to 
surrender  themselves  and  their  arms  by  ten  o'clock  the  following 
day,  the  understanding  being  that  all  would  be  tried  for 
treason  against  the  Government,  and  for  other  offences.  The 
Prophet  took  advantage  of  this  information,  and  had  every  man 
that  was  in  imminent  danger,  leave  the  camp  for  a  place  of  safety. 
The  most  of  those  in  danger  went  to  Illinois.  They  left  at 
once,  and  were  safe  from  all  pursuit  before  the  surrender  took 
place,  as  they  traveled  north  and  avoided  all  settlements. 
When  the  brethren  had  left  for  Illinois,  as  just  stated,  Joseph 
Smith  called  all  of  his  remaining  troops  together,  and  told  them 
they  were  a  good  lot  of  fellows,  but  they  were  not  perfect 
enough  to  withstand  so  large  an  army  as  the  one  now  before 
them,  that  they  had  stood  by  him,  and  were  willing  to  die  for 
and  with  him,  for  the  sake  of  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven,  that  he 
wished  them  to  be  comforted,  for  God  had  accepted  their  offer- 
ing, that  he  intended  to,  and  was  going  to  offer  himself  up  as 
a  sacrifice,  to  save  their  lives  and  to  save  the  Church.  He 
wished  them  all  to  be  of  good  cheer,  and  pray  for  him,  and  to 
pray  that  he  and  the  brethren  that  went  with  him  might  be  de- 
livered from  their  enemies.  He  then  blessed  his  people  in  the 
name  of  the  Lord.  After  this,  he  and  the  leading  men,  six  in  num- 
toer  went  with  him  direct  to  the  camp  of  the  enemy.  They  were 
led  by  a  Judas,  Col.  G.  M.  Hinkle.  I  stood  upon  the  breast- 
works and  watched  them  go  into  the  camp  of  the  enemy.  I 
heard  the  yells  of  triumph  of  the  troops,  as  Joseph  Smith  and 
Ms  companions  entered.  It  was  with  great  difficulty  that  the 
officers  could  restrain  the  mob  from  shooting  them  down  as  they 
entered.  A  strong  guard  was  then  placed  over  them  to  protect 
them  from  mob  violence. 

The  next  morning  a  court  martial  was  held,  at  which  Joseph 
Smith  and  his  six  companions  that  had  surrendered  with  him, 
were  sentenced  to  be  shot.  The  execution  was  to  take  place  at 
eight  o'clock  the  next  morning.  When  the  sentence  of  the 
court  martial  was  announced  to  them,  Col.  Lyman  White  said, 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  83 

"  Shoot  and  be  d — d."  General  Atchison  and  Col.  Doniphan 
arrived  with  their  divisions  the  same  day,  soon  after  the 
court  martial  had  been  held.  Col.  Doniphan,  in  particular, 
remonstrated  against  the  decision.  He  said  it  was  nothing 
more  or  less  than  cold  blooded  murder,  and  that  every  name 
signed  to  the  decision  was  signed  in  blood,  and  he  would  with- 
draw his  troops  and  have  nothing  to  do  in  the  matter,  if  the 
men  were  to  be  shot.  General'Atchison  sustained  Col.  Doni- 
phan, and  said  the  wiser  policy  would  be,  in  as  much  as  they 
had  surrendered  themselves  as  prisoners,  to  place  them  in  the 
Richmond  jail,  and  let  them  take  the  due  course  of  the  law ;  let 
them  be  tried  by  the  civil  authorities  of  the  land.  In  this  way 
justice  could  be  reached  and  parties  could  be  punished  accord- 
ing to  law,  and  thus  save  the  honor  of  the  troops  and  the  nation. 
This  timely  interposition  and  wise  course  on  the  part  of  Col. 
Doniphan  and  General  Atchison,  changed  the  course  and  pre- 
vented the  hasty  action  of  an  infuriated  mob,  calling  itself  a 
court,  men  who  were  all  the  bitter  enemies  of  Joseph  Smith 
and  his  followers. 

The  next  day  a  writing  desk  was  prepared,  with  two  secreta- 
ries or  clerks ;  it  was  placed  in  the  middle  of  the  hollow  square 
formed  by  the  troops.  The  Mormons  were  marched  in  double 
file  across  the  centre  of  the  square,  where  the  officers  and  men 
who  had  remained  in  Far  West  surrendered  themselves  and  their 
arms  to  General  Clark,  Commander-in-Chief  of  the  Missouri 
Militia,  then  in  arms  against  the  Saints  at  Far  West.  I  was 
among  the  number  that  then  surrendered.  I  laid  down  a  good 
Kentucky  rifle,  two  good  horse  pistols  and  a  sword.  After 
stacking  our  arms  we  were  marched  in  single  file,  between 
a  double  file  of  the  militia,  who  stood  in  a  line  from  the  secre- 
tary's desk,  extending  nearly  across  the  square,  ready  to  re- 
ceive us,  with  fixed  bayonets.  As  each  man  came  up  to  the 
stand,  he  stepped  to  the  desk  and  signed  his  name  to  an  instru- 
ment recapitulating  the  conditions  of  the  treaty,  which  were  sub- 
stantially as  follows :  We  were  to  give  a  deed  to  all  of  our  real 
estate,  and  to  give  a  bill  of  sale  of  all  our  personal  property,  to 
pay  the  expenses  of  the  war  that  had  been  inaugurated  against 
us ;  that  a  committee  of  twelve  should  be  appointed,  one  for 
Far  West  and  one  for  Adam-on-Diamond,  who  were  to  be  the 
sole  judges  of  what  would  be  necessary  to  remove  each  family 
out  of  the  State,  and  all  of  the  Mormons  were  to  leave  Missouri 


by  the  first  of  April,  A.  D.  1839,  and  all  the  rest  of  the  prop- 
erty of  the  Mormons  was  to  be  taken  by  the  Missouri  troops  to 
pay  the  expenses  of  the  war.  When  the  committee  had  exam- 
ined into  affairs  and  made  the  assignment  of  property  that  the 
Mormons  were  to  retain,  a  pass  would  be  given  by  the  commit- 
tee to  each  person  as  an  evidence  that  he  had  gone  through  an 
investigation  both  as  to  his  conduct  and  property.  The  prison- 
ers at  Far  West  were  to  be  retained  and  not  allowed  to  return 
home  until  the  committee  had  reported  and  given  the  certificate 
that  all  charges  had  been  met  and  satisfied.  I  remained  a  pris- 
oner for  nine  days,  awaiting  the  action  of  the  committee.  While 
such  prisoner  I  witnessed  many  scenes  of  inhumanity,  even  more 
degrading  than  brutality  itself.  The  mob  of  the  militia  was 
mostly  composed  of  men  who  had  been  neighbors  of  the  Mor- 
mons. This  mob  rifled  the  city,  took  what  they  wished,  and 
committed  many  cruel  and  shameful  deeds.  These  barbarous 
acts  were  done  because  they  said  the  Mormons  had  stolen 
their  goods  and  chattels,  and  while  they  pretended  to  search 
for  stolen  property  they  ravished  women  and  committed  other 
crimes  at  will.  One  day,  while  standing  by  a  log  fire,  trying  to 
keep  warm,  a  man  came  up  and  recognized  Riley  Stewart,  and 
said,  "I  saw  you  knock  Dick  Weldon  down  at  Gallatin."  With 
this  he  sprang  and  caught  at  an  ax  that  had  been  stuck  in  a  log ; 
while  trying  to  get  the  ax  out,  as  it  stuck  fast  in  the  log,  Stewart 
ran ;  the  man  succeeded  in  getting  the  ax  loose ;  he  then  threw 
it  with  all  his  force  at  Stewart ;  fortunately  the  ax  struck  him  a 
glancing  blow  on  the  head,  not  killing  him,  but  giving  him  a  se- 
vere wound.  When  one  of  the  mob  saw  a  saddle,  or  bridle,  or 
any  article  they  liked,  they  took  it  and  kept  it,  and  the  Mor- 
mon prisoners  dared  not  say  a  word  about  it. 

The  night  after  he  was  wounded,  Stewart  broke  through  the 
guard,  and  escaped  to  his  wife's  people  in  Carroll  County,  fifty 
miles  south  of  Far  West.  As  soon  as  the  citizens  heard  that 
Stewart  had  arrived,  they  notified  his  wife's  brothers  and  father 
1hat  an  armed  mob  inten  ded  to  take  him  out  and  whip  him  se- 
verely, and  then  tar  and  feather  him.  His  friends  notified  him 
of  the  fact,  and  he  attempted  to  make  his  escape,  but  the  mob 
was  on  the  watch.  They  caught  him,  and,  holding  two  pistols 
at  his  head,  forced  him  to  take  off  his  coat,  hneel  down,  and 
receive  fifty  lashes.  These  were  given  him  with  such  force  that 
they  cut  through  his  linen  shirt.  After  this  whipping,  he  re- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  85 

turned  to  Far  West,  and  took  his  chances  with  the  rest  of  us. 
One  day  a  soldier  of  the  mob  walked  up  to  a  house  near  where 
I  was  standing.  The  house  was  occupied  by  an  old  widow 
woman.  The  soldier  noticed  a  cow  in  the  little  shed,  near  the 
house.  He  said  he  thought  that  was  a  Danite  cow;  that  he 
wanted  to  have  the  honor  of  killing  a  Danite,  or  something  that 
belonged  to  a  Danite.  The  old  widow  came  to  the  door  of  her 
<:abin,  and  begged  him  to  spare  her  cow,  saying  it  was  her  only 
dependence  for  milk,  that  she  had  no  meat,  and  if  her  cow  was 
killed,  she  must  suffer.  "Well,  then,"  said  he,  "you  can  eat 
the  cow  for  a  change."  He  then  shot  the  cow  dead,  and  stood 
there  and  tantalized  the  old  woman  when  she  cried  over  her  loss. 
While  we  were  standing  in  line,  waiting  our  turns  to  sign  the 
treaty,  a  large  company  of  men,  painted  like  Indians,  rode  up 
and  surrounded  us.  They  were  a  part  of  the  men  who  were  in 
the  fight  at  the  town  of  Gallatin,  on  the  day  of  election.  They 
tantalized  us  and  abused  us  in  every  way  they  could  with  words. 
This  treatment  was  hard  to  bear,  but  we  were  powerless  to 
protect  ourselves  in  any  way. 



I  HAD  a  fine  gray  mare  that  attracted  the  attention  of  many 
of  the  mob.  I  was  allowed  to  take  her  to  water,  while  closely 
guarded  by  armed  men.  One  day  as  I  took  her  to  water  I  was 
spoken  to  by  several  men,  who  said  they  were  sorry  for  a  man 
like  me,  who  appeared  to  be  honest  and  peaceably  disposed ;  that 
they  knew  that  I  and  many  honest  men  were  deluded  by  Joseph 
Smith,  the  impostor.  But  they  thanked  God  he  would  delude 
no  more  people  ;  that  he  would  certainly  be  shot ;  that  I  had  bet- 
ter quit  my  delusion  and  settle  down  by  the  officer  in  command, 
who  was  then  talking  to  me,  in  Carroll  County,  and  make  a  home 
for  my  family ;  that  I  would  never  have  peace  or  quiet  while  I 
remained  with  the  Mormons.  I  heard  him  through.  Then  I 
said :  "  No  man  has  deceived  me.  I  am  not  deceived  by  Joseph 


Smith,  or  any  other  man.  If  I  am  deceived  it  is  the  Bible  that 
has  deceived  me.  I  believe  that  Joseph  Smith  is  a  prophet  of 
God,  and  I  have  the  Bible  as  my  authority  in  part  for  this  belief. 
And  I  do  not  believe  that  Joseph  Smith  will  be  shot,  as  you  seem 
to  think.  He  has  not  finished  his  work  yet." 

As  I  finished  my  remarks  the  officer  became  fearfully  enraged,, 
and  said,  ."That  is  the  way  with  all  you  d — d  Mormons.  You 
might  as  well  try  to  move  a  mountain  as  to  turn  a  Mormon  from 
his  delusion.  Blow  the  brains  out  of  this  fool !  "  In  an  instant 
several  guns  were  leveled  on  me.  I  imagined  I  already  felt  the 
bullets  piercing  my  body.  The  soldiers  would  certainly  have 
shot  me  down  if  the  officer  had  not  immediately  countermanded 
his  order,  by  saying,  "Hold  on,  boys,  he  is  not  worth  five 
charges  of  ammunition."  I  said,  "Gents,  I  am  your  prisoner, 
unarmed  and  helpless,  and  I  demand  your  protection.  But  if 
you  consider  there  is  any  honor  in  treating  a  man,  an  American 
prisoner,  in  this  way,  you  can  do  it." 

As  we  returned  to  camp  the  man  said,  "  We  will  make  it  hot 
for  the  Mormons  yet  before  we  are  done  with  them,  and  if  you 
have  not  got  enough  of  them  now,  you  will  have  before  you  are 
done  with  them ;  and  you  will  remember  my  words  when  it  is  too 
late  to  serve  you." 

"I  ma}^,"  said  I;  "when  I  do  I  will  own  up  like  a  little 
man.  But  until  I  am  so  convinced  I  will  never  turn  my  coat." 

"Well,"  said  he,  "you  are  not  so  bad  after  all.  I  like  a 
firm  man,  if  he  only  has  reason  on  his  side." 

The  Mormons  were  forted,  or  barricaded,  in  the  public  school 
houses,  and  kept  without  any  rations  being  issued  to  them.  The 
grain  fields  and  gardens  that  belonged  to  the  Mormons  were 
thrown  open  to  the  stock  and  wasted.  Our  cattle  and  other 
stock  were  shot  down  for  sport  and  left  for  the  wolves  and  birds 
of  prey  to  devour.  We  were  closely  guarded,  and  not  allowed 
to  go  from  our  quarters  without  a  guard.  We  were  nearly 
starved  for  several  days,  until  I  obtained  permission  to  go  out 
and  bring  in  some  of  the  cattle  that  the  soldiers  had  killed  for 
sport.  The  weather  was  cold  and  the  snow  deep,  so  the  meat 
was  good.  I  also  got  permission  to  gather  in  some  vegetables, 
and  from  that  time,  while  we  remained  prisoners,  the  men  had 
plenty  to  eat,  yet  often  it  was  of  a  poor  quality.  While  a  pris- 
oner I  soon  learned  that  the  loud  and  self-conceited  men  were 
of  little  account  when  danger  stared  them  in  the  face. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  87 

Arrangements  had  been  made  to  carry  the  treaty  into  effect. 
It  was  found  necessary  to  send  General  Wilson  with  five  hun- 
dred men  to  Adam-on-Diamond  to  compel  the  surrender,  and 
signing  of  the  treaty,  as  had  been  done  at  Far  West,  and  the 
people  of  that  place  were  to  be  treated  just  as  we  had  been. 

I  was  recommended  to  General  Wilson  by  the  officer  who  had 
ordered  his  men  to  blow  my  brains  out,  as  a  suitable  man  for  a 
guide  to  Adam-on-Diamond.  He  said  that  I  was  as  stubborn  as 
a  mule,  but  still  there  was  something  about  me  he  respected. 
That  he  believed  that  I  was  honest,  and  certainly  no  coward. 
General  Wilson  said:  "Young  man,  do  you  live  at  Adam-on- 
Diamond?"  I  said :  "  I  cannot  say  that  I  do,  but  I  did  once, 
and  I  have  a  wife  and  child  there  that  I  would  like  to  see ;  but 
as  to  a  home  I  have  none  left."  He  said,  "Where  did  you  live 
before  you  came  here?"  "In  Illinois,"  I  answered.  "You 
shall  soon  see  your  wife  and  child.  I  will  start  in  the  morning 
with  my  division  for  Adam-on-Diamond.  You  are  at  liberty  to 
select  two  of  your  comrades  and  go  with  me  as  guides,  to  pilot 
us  there.  Be  ready  for  an  early  start  and  report  to  my  Adju- 
tant." "  Thank  you,  sir,  I  will  do  as  you  request,"  said  I. 

I  selected  two  good  men,  I  think  Levi  Stewart  was  one,  but  I 
have  really  forgotten  who  the  other  man  was.  In  the  morning 
I  was  on  hand  in  time.  The  day  was  cold  and  stormy,  a  hard 
north  wind  blowing,  and  the  snow  falling  rapidly.  It  was  an 
open  country  for  thirteen  miles,  with  eighteen  inches  of  snow  on 
the  ground.  We  kept  our  horses  in  the  lope  until  we  reached 
Shady  Grove  timber,  thirteen  miles  from  Far  West.  There  we 
camped  for  the  night  by  the  side  of  Waldo  Littlefield's  farm. 
The  fence  was  burned  for  camp-fires,  and  his  fields  of  grain 
were  fed  to  the  horses,  or  rather  the  animals  were  turned  loose 
in  the  fields.  After  camp  was  struck  I  went  to  General  Wilson 
and  said,  "  General,  I  have  come  to  beg  a  favor  of  you.  I  ask 
you  in  the  name  of  humanity  to  let  me  go  on  to  Adam-on-Dia- 
mond to-day.  I  have  a  wife  and  helpless  babe  there.  I  am 
informed  our  house  has  been  burned,  and  she  is  likely  out  in 
this  storm  without  a  shelter.  You  are  half-way  there  ;  the  snow 
is  deep,  and  you  can  follow  our  trail  (it  had  then  slackened  up, 
or  was  snowing  but  little)  in  the  morning ;  there  is  but  one 
road  to  the  settlement."  He  looked  at  me  for  a  moment,  and 
then  said,  "  Young  man,  your  request  shall  be  granted,  I  admire 
your  resolution."  He  then  turned  to  his  Aid,  who  stood  tremb- 


ling  in  the  snow,  and  said,  "Write  Mr.  Lee  and  his  two  com- 
rades a  pass,  saying  that  they  have  gone  through  an  examina- 
tion at  Far  West,  and  have  been  found  innocent,"  etc.  The 
Adj  utant  drew  out  his  portfolio  and  wrote  as  follows:  "I  per- 
mit John  D.  Lee  to  remove  from  Daviess  to  Caldwell  County, 
and  to  pass  out  of  the  State,  as  he  has  undergone  an  examina- 
tion at  Far  West  and  was  fully  acquitted.  Marrowbone  En- 
campment, Caldwell  County,  Mo.,  Nov.  15,  1839. 

"  R.  WILSON,  Brigadier  Gen. 
"R.  F.  COCKET,  Aid-de-Camp." 

After  receiving  my  pass  I  thanked  the  General  for  his  humane 
act,  and  with  my  friends  made  the  journey,  through  the  snow,  to 
Adam-on-Diamond.  As  we  neared  home  the  sun  shone  out 
brightly.  When  I  got  in  sight  of  where  my  house  had  been,  I 
saw  my  wife  sitting  by  a  log  fire  in  the  open  air,  with  her  babe 
in  her  arms.  Some  soldiers  had  cut  a  large  hickory  tree  for  fire- 
wood for  her,  and  had  built  her  a  shelter  with  some  boards  I 
had  dressed  to  weather-board  a  house,  so  she  was  in  a  measure 
comfortable.  She  had  been  weeping,  as  she  had  been  informed 
that  I  was  a  prisoner  at  Far  West,  and  would  be  shot,  and  that 
she  need  not  look  for  me,  for  she  would  never  see  me  again. 
When  I  rode  up  she  was  nearly  frantic  with  delight,  and  as  soon 
as  I  reached  her  side  she  threw  herself  into  my  arms  and  then 
her  self-possession  gave  way  and  she  wept  bitterly ;  but  she  soon 
recovered  herself  and  gave  me  an  account  of  her  troubles  during 
my  absence. 

The  next  evening,  General  Wilson  and  his  command  arrived 
and  camped  near  my  little  shanty.  I  started  at  once  to  report 
to  General  Wilson.  On  my  way  to  him  I  passed  my  friend 
McBrier,  who  had  trusted  me  for  some  cattle.  I  still  owed  him 
for  them.  I  told  him  why  I  had  been  unable  to  pay  him,  and 
wished  him  to  take  the  cattle  back,  as  I  still  had  all  of  them  ex- 
cept one  cow  that  had  died  of  the  murrain ;  that  it  was  an  hon- 
est debt,  and  I  wished  to  pay  it.  I  asked  him  to  go  to  my 
shanty  with  me,  and  said  he  could  take  what  cattle  were  left, 
and  a  black  mare  that  was  worth  $75,  and  an  eight-day  clock 
that  was  worth  $25,  for  my  note.  "I  have  not  got  your  note," 
said  he.  "Who  has  it?"  I  asked  him.  "  I  do  not  know,  I 
supposed  you  had  it."  "I  never  saw  it  since  I  gave  it  to  you." 
"Well,"  said  he,  "my  house  was  burned,  and  all  my  property 
either  burned  or  taken  from  me,  and  your  note  was  in  the  house 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  89 

•when  it  was  burned."  "Well,"  said  I,  "it  matters  not  with 
me,  if  you  will  take  the  property  and  give  me  a  receipt  against 
the  note,  so  that  it  cannot  be  collected  the  second  time,  I  will 
settle  the  debt."  He  then  said,  "I  thought  you  had  been  in 
the  party  that  burned  the  house,  and  had  taken  your  note,  but 
I  am  now  satisfied  to  the  contrary,  and  that  you  are  an  innocent 
man.  All  I  ask  is  for  you  to  renew  the  note.  The  property  of 
the  Mormons  will  be  held  to  pay  their  debts,  and  the  expenses  of 
the  war,  and  I  will  get  my  pay  in  that  way.  You  just  renew  the 
note,  and  that  will  settle  all  between  us."  I  then  renewed  the 
note,  after  which  he  went  with  me  to  General  Wilson.  McBrier 
introdced  me  to  a  number  of  the  soldiers  as  an  honest  Mormon. 
This  worked  well  in  my  favor,  and  pleased  me  much,  for  it  sat- 
isfied me  more  than  ever  that  honesty  was  the  best  policy.  I 
had  done  nothing  that  I  considered  wrong ;  there  was  no  stolen 
property  around  my  house.  I  did  not  have  'to  run  and  hide,  or 
screen  any  act  of  mine  from  the  public  gaze.  My  wife  had  been 
treated  well  personally,  during  my  absence ;  no  insults  had  been 
offered  to  her,  and  I  was  well  pleased  at  that.  I  was  treated 
with  respect  by  Gen.  Wilson  and  his  men.  True,  I  was  associa- 
ted with  the  people  that  had  incurred  the  displeasure  of  the  au- 
thorities, and  my  neighbors,  who  had  committed  crimes  and  lar- 
cenies, were  then  receiving  fearful  punishment  for  all  they  had 
done.  The  punishment,  however,  was  in  a  great  part  owing  to 
the  fault  of  the  people.  When  the  Gentiles  found  any  of  their 
property  that  had  been  stolen,  they  became  very  abusive. 

Every  house  in  Adam-on-Diamond  was  searched  by  the  troops 
for  stolen  property.  They  succeeded  in  finding  very  much  of 
the  Gentile  property  that  had  been  captured  by  the  Saints  in  the 
various  raids  they  made  through  the  country.  Bedding  of  every 
kind  and  in  large  quantities  was  found  and  reclaimed  by  the 
owners.  Even  spinning  wheels,  soap  barrels  and  other  articles 
were  recovered.  Each  house  where  stolen  property  was  found 
was  certain  to  receive  a  Missouri  blessing  from  the  troops.  The 
men  who  had  been  most  active  in  gathering  plunder  had  fled  to 
Illinois,  to  escape  the  vengeance  of  the  people,  leaving  their 
families  to  suffer  for  the  sins  of  the  bleeding  Saints.  By  the 
terms  of  the  treaty  all  the  Mormons  were  to  leave  Daviess 
County  within  fifteen  days,  but  they  were  allowed  to  stay 
through  the  winter  in  Caldwell  County  ;  but  all  had  to  depart  from 
Missouri  before  the  first  day  of  the  next  April.  There  were  but 


few  families  that  met  with  the  kind  treatment  that  mine  did. 
The  majority  of  the  people  were  censured  and  persecuted  as- 
much  as  they  were  able  to  stand  and  live. 

In  justice  to  Joseph  Smith  I  cannot  say  that  I  ever  heard  him 
teach  or  even  encourage  men  to  pilfer  or  steal  little  things.  He 
told  the  people  that  in  an,  open  war  the  contending  factions- 
were  justified  in  taking  spoil  to  subsist  upon  during  the  war  j 
but  he  did  despise  this  little,  petty  stealing.  He  told  the  peo- 
ple to  wait  until  the  proper  time  came  to  take  back  their  rights, 
"Then,"  said  he,  "  take  the  whole  State  of  Missouri  like  men."' 

When  the  people  at  Adam-on-Diamond  had  signed  the  treaty,. 
and  complied  with  the  stipulations,  the  committee  of  twelve 
commenced  their  duties.  When  it  came  my  turn  to  take  the 
property  necessary  to  take  me  out  of  the  State,  I  was  told  to  fit 
myself  out  comfortably.  I  told  them  that  I  had  a  wife  and  one 
child,  that  I  had  two  good  wagons,  one  a  heavy  one-horse 
wagon,  with  fills,  and  that  I  had  a  large  mare  that  was  equal  to- 
a  common  span,  that  the  mare  and  wagon  would  do  me,  that 
I  wanted  some  bedding  and  our  clothing,  and  some  other  traps- 
of  little  value ;  that  I  had  a  good  milk  cow  that  I  wished  to- 
give  to  a  friend  who  had  lost  all  his  cattle,  and  his  wife  had  died 
a  short  time  before,  leaving  a  little  babe  that  must  have  milk. 
I  told  them  they  could  take  the  rest  of  my  property  and  do  with 
it  as  they  did  with  that  of  the  brethren.  I  was  worth  then  in- 
property,  at  a  fair  valuation,  $4,000.  The  officers  were  aston- 
ished at  me  and  said  they  did  not  wish  to  oppress  a  man  who 
acted  fairly.  They  told  me  to  take  my  large  wagon  and  two  of 
my  best  horses,  and  all  the  outfit  that  I  wanted.  I  thanked  them 
for  their  kindness.  I  was  permitted  to  give  the  cow  to  my  friend 
and  I  had  the  privilege  of  taking  such  articles  as  I  wished.  I 
fitted  up  with  just  what  would  take  me  to  Illinois,  and  left  the 
remainder  as  a  spoil  for  the  enemies  of  the  Church. 

I  did  not  regret  the  loss  of  my  property  ;  I  gave  it  up  as  the 
price  of  my  religious  freedom ;  but  I  did  feel  cast  down  to  think 
and  know  that  I  was  associated  with  so  many  petty  thieves, 
whose  ambition  never  rose  higher  than  the  smoke  of  their  corn- 
cob pipes.  I  was  sorrowful  to  find  that  the  perfection  I  had 
thought  the  people  possessed,  was  not,  in  fact,  a  part  of  their 

I  had  long  desired  to  associate  myself  with  an  honest  people, 
whose  motto  should  be  promptness,  punctuality,  honesty — a 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  91 

people  that  feared  God  and  worked  righteousness,  dealt  justly, 
loved  mercy  and  walked  uprightly  with  each  other  before  their 
God ;  where  my  property,  my  life,  my  reputation  would  be  held 
sacred  by  them  all,  the  same  as  if  it  was  their  own.  For  the 
society  of  such  a  people  I  was  willing  to  forsake  all  earthly  sub- 
stance, and  even  to  have 'my  name  cast  out  as  evil  and  trodden 
under  foot,  if  I  could  be  found  worthy  to  serve  with  such  a 
blessed  people,  and  thus  earn  the  boon  of  eternal  life.  But  I 
had  found  another  class  of  people ;  they  fell  far  short  of  the 
requisites  that  I  had  believed  they  possessed.  When  I  found 
fault  with  having  such  characters  in  the  Church  I  was  told  of  the 
parable  where  Christ  likened  the  kingdom  of  heaven  to  a  net 
that  was  cast  into  the  sea,  which,  when  drawn  to  the  shore,  had 
in  it  all  kinds  of  fish ;  the  servants  picked  out  the  good  and 
kept  them  for  the  Master's  use,  and  the  bad  were  cast  back  into 
the  sea ;  that  we  could  not  expect  anything  different  with  the 
kingdom  on  earth  ;  that  it  was  a  trick  of  the  evil  one  to  cause 
such  persons  to  rush  into  the  gospel  net  to  harrass  and  torment 
the  Saints  with  their  evil  doings,  but  the  time  would  come 
when  forbearance  would  cease  to  be  a  virtue,  then  all  those  who 
worked  iniquity  or  gave  offense  in  the  kingdom  would  be  cut  off 
and  destroyed ;  that  we  must  bear  with  them  until  the  time  came 
to  correct  the  evil.  • 

v  Before  I  speak  of  other  things  I  will  say  a  few  words  of  the 
country  we  were  then  in.  Adam-qn-Dlamond  was  at  the  point 
where  Adam  came  and  settled  and  blest  his  posterity  after  being 
driven  from  the  Garden  of  Eden.  This  was  revealed  to  the  peo- 
ple through  Joseph_gmith,  the  Prophet.  The  Temple  Jglock  in 
Jackson  County,  Missouri,  stands  on  the  identical  spot  where 
once  stood  the  Garden  of  _J£den.  When  Adam  and  Eve  were 
driven  from  the  Garden  they  traveled  in  a  northwesterly  course 
until  they  came  to  a  valley  on  the  east  side  of  Grand  River. 
There  they  tarried  for  several  years,  and  engaged  in  tilling  the 
soil.  On  the  east  of  the  valley  there  is  a  low  range  of  hills. 
Standing  on  the  summit  of  the  bluffs  a  person  has  a  full  view  of 
the  beautiful  valley  that  lies  below,  dotted  here  and  there  with 
elegant  groves  of  timber.  On  the  top  of  this  range  of  hills  Adam 
erected  an  altar  of  stone,  on  which  he  offered  sacrifice  unto  the 
Lord.  There  was  at  that  time  (in  1838)  a  pile  of  stone  there, 
which  the  Prophet  said  was  a  portion  of  the  altar  on  which 
Adam  offered  sacrifice.  Although  these  stones  had  been  ex- 


posed  to  the  elements  for  many  generations  of  time,  still  the 
traces  remained  to  show  the  dimensions  and  design  of  the  altar. 
After  Adam  had  offered  his  sacrifice  he  went  up  the  valley  some 
two  miles,  where  he  blessed  his  posterity  and  called  the  place 
the  Valley  of  Adam-on-Diamond,  which,  in  the  reformed  Egyp- 
tian language,  signifies  Adam's  Consecrated  Land.  It  is  said  to 
"be  seventy-five  miles,  in  a  direct  course,  from  the  Garden  of 
Eden  to  Adam-on-Diamond.  Those  supposed  ancient  relics  and 
sacred  spots  of  earth  are  held  sacred  by  the  greater  portion  of 
the  Latter  Day  Saints.  To  a  casual  observer  it  appears  that  this 
people  are  all  the  time  chasing  a  phantom  of  some  sort,  which 
only  exists  in  the  brain  of  the  fanatical  followers.  These  things, 
and  much  more  concerning  the  early  days,  were  revealed  to 
Joseph  Smith.  ^( 

On  the  20th  day  of  November,  1838,  I  took  leave  of  my  home, 
and  the  spot  I  considered  sacred  ground,  on  Adam-on-Diamond, 
and  started  as  a  banished  person  to  seek  a  home  in  Illinois. 
We  went  to  my  farm  on  Shady  Grove  Creek,  aud  staid  over 
night.  We  found  everything  as  we  had  left  it,  nothing  had  been 
interfered  with.  I  killed  a  large  hog  and  dressed  it  to  carry 
with  us  to  eat  on  the  journey.  The  snow  was  fully  twenty 
inches  deep,  weather  very  cold,  and  taken  all  in  all,  it  was  a 
disagreeable  and  unpleasant  trip.  We  went  to  the  settlement 
on  Log  Creek,  and  stopped  with  the  family  of  Robert  Bidwell. 
He  had  plenty  of  property.  This  man  had  good  teams,  and 
had  reaped  where  he  had  not  sown,  and  gathered  where  he  had 
not  strewn.  He  was  engaged  in  removing  families  of  his  help- 
less brethren  to  Quincy,  Illinois,  who  had  not  teams  to  move 
themselves,  but  who  had  a  little  money  that  he  was  after,  and 
he  got  all  they  had.  For  some  reason  unexplained  to  me,  he 
had  been  permitted  to  keep  all  of  his  property ;  none  of  it  was 
taken  by  the  troops.  While  at  Bid  well's  I  bought  a  crib  of  corn, 
about  two  hundred  bushels,  for  a  pocket-knife.  I  built  a  stable 
for  my  mare,  and  a  crib  for  the  corn,  and  hauled  wood  enough 
to  do  the  whole  family  for  the  rest  of  the  winter.  I  also 
attended  to  Bidwell's  stock  and  worked  all  the  time  for  him. 
They  had  five  children,  which  made  considerable  work  for  the 
women  folks;  my  wife  worked  for  them  all  the  time.  During 
this  time  we  had  nothing  but  corn  to  eat.  The  hog  I  killed  at 
my  farm  was  diseased,  and  I  had  to  throw  the  meat  away.  Not- 
withstanding our  constant  work  for  Bidwell's  family,  they  never 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  93 

gave  us  a  drop  of  milk  or  a  meal  of  victuals  while  we  remained 
there.  Mrs.  Bidwell  fed  six  gallons  of  milk  to  their  hogs  each 
day.  I  offered  to  feed  the  hogs  corn  for  milk,  so  we  could  have 
milk  to  eat  with  our  boiled  corn,  but  she  refused  the  offer,  say- 
ing they  had  all  they  needed.  They  did  have  provisions  of 
every  kind  in  abundance,  but  not  a  particle  of  food  could  we 
obtain  from  them.  Prayer  meetings  were  frequently  held  at 
their  house.  They  had  plenty  of  tallow,  but  Mrs.  Bidwell  would 
not  allow  a  candle  to  be  burned  in  the  house  unless  some  other 
person  furnished  it.  One  night  at  prayer  meeting  I  chanced  to 
speak  upon  the  subject  of  covetuousness,  and  quoted  the  twelfth 
chapter  of  Paul  to  the  Corinthians,  where  he  speaks  of  mem- 
bers of  the  Church  of  Christ  being  united.  I  was  feeling  badly 
to  see  so  much  of  the  covetuousness  of  the  world  in  some  of 
the  members  of  the  Church,  and  I  talked  quite  plainly  upon  the 
subject.  The  next  morning  Mrs.  Bidwell  came  into  our  room 
and  said  that  my  remarks  at  the  meeting  the  evening  before 
were  directed  at  her,  and  she  wanted  me  to  understand  that  if 
I  did  not  like  my  treatment  there,  she  wanted  us  to  go  where 
we  would  fare  better.  This  inhuman  and  unwelcome  language 
did  not  set  well  on  an  empty  stomach,  and  was  more  than  I 
could  bear.  I  burst  into  tears.  Yet  I  pitied  the  ungrateful 
woman.  As  soon  as  I  could  control  my  feelings  I  said,  "  Sister 
Bidwell,  I  will  take  you  at  your  word.  I  will  leave  your  house 
as  soon  as  I  can  get  my  things  into  my  wagon,  but  before  I 
leave  you,  I  wish  to  say  a  few  words  for  you  to  ponder  on  when 
we  are  gone.  In  the  first  place,  you  and  I  profess  to  be  mem- 
bers of  the  same  Church ;  for  the  sake  of  our  faith  my  family 
has  been  broken  up  and  driven  from  a  comfortable  home,  in 
this  inclement  season  of  the  year.  We  came  here  seeking  shel- 
ter from  the  stormy  blasts  of  winter,  until  the  severity  of  the 
weather  was  past,  when  we  intended  to  leave  this  State.  You  have 
been  more  fortunate  than  your  brethren  and  sisters  who  lived  in 
Daviess  County.  You  are  allowed  to  live  in  your  own  house, 
but  we  are  homeless  wanderers.  Now  you  drive  us  from  the 
shelter  of  your  roof,  for  a  trivial  offense,  if  offense  it  was.  But 
I  assure  you  that  you  are  only  angry  because  my  words  were 
the  truth.  Woe  unto  you  who  are  angry  and  offended  at  the 
truth.  As  you  do  unto  others,  so  will  your  Heavenly  Father  do 
unto  you.  In  as  much  as  you  have  done  this  unnatural  act, 


you  will  yet  be  houseless  and  homeless — you  will  be  one  day  de- 
pendent upon  those  that  you  now  drive  from  jTour  door." 

At  first  she  mocked  me,  but  soon  her  tune  changed  and  she 
commenced  to  cry.  She  then  begged  me  not  to  get  angry  with 
what  a  woman  said.  I  told  her  I  could  not  undo  what  I  had 
said — that  I  should  start  at  once  for  Quincy,  Illinois.  We  left  the 
house  of  the  stingy  and  selfish  family,  intending  to  go  direct  to 
Illinois.  We  traveled  until  we  arrived  at  the  house  of  a  man  by 
the  name  of  Morris ;  they  had  a  much  smaller  house  than  Bid- 
well's,  but  they  would  not  listen  to  our  continuing  our  journey 
during  the  severe  cold  weather.  We  accepted  their  invitation, 
and  stayed  there  about  two  weeks.  This  family  possessed  the 
true  Christian  spirit,  and  treated  us  while  there  as  kindly  as  if 
we  had  been  their  own  children.  While  staying  with  Brother 
Morris  I  attended  several  meetings  at  Far  West.  Old  Father 
Smith,  the  father  of  the  Prophet,  lead  the  meetings.  He  also 
directed  the  exodus  of  the  Saints  from  Missouri  to  Illinois. 
Thomas  B.  Marsh  was  at  that  time  President  of  the  Twelve 
Apostles,  and  I  think  Brigham  Young  was  second  and  Orson 
Hyde  the  third  on  the  roll.  The  great  opposition  to  our  people 
and  Church  caused  the  two  pillars,  Marsh  and  Hyde,  to  become 
weak-kneed  and  turn  over  to  thp  enemy.  Col.  G.  M.  Hinkle, 
Dr.  Averard,  Judge  W.  W.  Phelps,  and  others  of  the  tall  men 
of  the  Church  followed  suit.  I  remember  going  with  Levi 
Stewart  to  some  of  those  fallen  angels  (in  the  days  of  our  pros- 
perity they  had  looked  like  angels  to  me)  to  enquire  what  to  do 
and  what  was  to  be  the  future  conduct  of  our  people.  G.  M. 
Hinkle  said  that  it  was  his  opinion  our  leaders,  Joseph  Smith  and 
those  with  him  in  prison,  would  be  either  hung  or  imprisoned 
for  life — that  the  members  of  the  Church  would  scatter  to  the 
four  winds,  and  never  gather  again  in  this  dispensation.  We 
then  went  to  Joseph's  father  and  asked  him  for  counsel.  He 
told  us  that  the  Saints  would  gather  again  in  Illinois.  We 
asked  him  at  what  point.  He  said,  "  I  do  not  know  yet,  but  the 
farther  north  we  go  the  less  poisonous  serpents  we  will  find." 
He  then  advised  us  to  attend  private  meetings  and  be  set  apart 
to  the  ministry.  Public  meetings  could  not  be  held  by  the  terms 
of  the  treat}'.  We  did  attend  private  meetings,  and  I  was  or- 
dained in  the  Quorum  of  Seventies,  under  the  hands  of  Joseph 
Young  and  Levi  Hancock.  Stewart  was  ordained  to  the  lesser 
priesthood,  which  gave  him  authority  to  preach  and  baptize,  but 

LIFE  OF  JOHX  D.  LEE.  95 

not  to  confirm.  The  office  that  I  held  gave  me  authority  to 
preach,  baptize  and  confirm  by  the  laying  on  of  hands,  for  the 
reception  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  to  ordain  and  set  apart  Elders, 
Priests,  Teachers  and  Deacons,  and  to  ordain  a  Seventy  or  High 
Priest,  as  the  office  of  a  Seventy  belongs  to  the  Melchisedek 
Priesthood ;  yet  a  Seventy  or  High  Priest  is  generally  ordained 
«,nd  set  apart  by  the  presidents  of  the  several  quorums.  After 
we  were  ordained  we  attended  a  private  feast  and  blessing  meet- 
ing, at  which  my  wife  and  I  got  our  Patriarchal  Blessing,  under 
the  hands  of  Isaac  Morley,  Patriarch.  This  office  properly  be- 
longs to  those  that  are  ordained  and  set  apart  to  that  calling,  to 
bless  the  fatherless  and  the  widow  especially,  but  he  can  bless 
others  who  ask  it  and  pay  one  dollar  for  the  blessing.  Often  the 
widow  and  the  poor  are  blessed  free,  but  this  is  at  the  option  of 
the  Patriarch. 

My  Patriarchal  Blessing  was  in  the  following  form:  "Patri- 
archal Blessing  of  John  D.  Lee.  By  Isaac  Morley,  Patriarch. 
Caldwell  County,  Missouri,  Dec.  — ,  1838.  Brother  John  D. 
Lee :  In  the  name  of  Jesus  of  Nazareth,  and  by  virtue  and  au- 
thority of  the  Holy  Priesthood,  in  me  vested,  I  lay  my  hands 
upon  thy  head,  and  confer  upon  thee  a  Patriarchal  or  Father's 
Blessing.  Thou  art  of  Ephraim,  through  the  loins  of  Joseph, 
that  was  sold  in  Egypt.  And  inasmuch  as  thou  hast  obeyed  the 
requirements  of  the  gospel  of  salvation,  thy  sins  are  forgiven 
thee.  Thy  name  is  written  in  the  Lamb's  Book  of  Life,  never 
more  to  be  blotted  out.  Thou  art  a  lawful  heir  to  all  the  bless- 
ings of  Abraham,  Isaac  and  Jacob  in  the  new  and  everlasting 
covenant.  Thou  shalt  travel  until  thou  art  satisfied  with  see- 
ing. Thousands  shall  hear  the  everlasting  gospel  proclaimed 
from  thy  lips.  Kings  and  princes  shall  acknowledge  thee  to  be 
their  father  in  the  new  and  everlasting  covenant.  Thou  shalt 
have  a  numerous  posterity,  who  shall  rise  up  and  bless  thee. 
Thou  shalt  have  houses  and  habitations,  flocks,  fields  and  herds. 
Thy  table  shall  be  strewed  with  the  rich  luxuries  of  the  earth,  to 
feed  thy  numerous  family  and  friends  who  shall  come  unto  thee. 
Thou  shalt  be  a  counselor  in  Israel,  and  many  shall  come  unto 
thee  for  instruction.  Thou  shalt  have  power  over  thine  ene- 
mies. They  that  oppose  thee  shall  yet  come  bending  unto  thee. 
Thou  shalt  sit  under  thine  own  vine  and  fig  tree,  where  none 
shall  molest  or  make  thee  afraid.  Thou  shalt  be  a  blessing  to  thy 
family  and  to  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter  Day  Saints. 


Thou  shalt  understand  the  hidden  things  of  the  kingdom  of 
heaven.  The  spirit  of  inspiration  shall  be  a  light  in  thy  path 
and  a  guide  to  thy  mind.  Thou  shalt  come  forth  in  the  morn- 
ing of  the  first  resurrection,  and  NO  POWER  shall  hinder,  except 
the  shedding  of  innocent  blood,  or  consenting  thereto.  I  seal 
thee  up  to  eternal  life.  In  the  name  of  the  Father,  and  of  the 
Son,  and  of  the  Holy  Ghotst,  Amen,  and  Amen." 

To  a  true  believer  in  the  faith  of  the  Latter  Day  Saints  a 
blessing  of  this  kind,  from  under  the  hand  of  a  Patriarch,  was 
then,  and  is  now,  considered  next  to  a  boon  of  eternal  life.  "We 
were  taught  to  look  upon  a  Patriarch  as  a  man  highly  favored  of 
God,  and  that  he  possessed  the  gift  of  discerning  of  spirits  and 
could  read  the  present  and  future  destiny  of  men.  Of  all  this  I 
then  had  no  doubt. 

Patriarchal  blessings  are  intended  to  strengthen,  stimulate 
and  encourage  true  Saints,  and  induce  them  to  press  on  to  per- 
fection while  passing  through  this  world  of  sorrows,  cares  and 

Having  been  ordained  and  blessed,  my  next  step  was  to  arm 
myself  with  the  Armor  of  Righteousness,  and  in  my  weakness 
pray  for  strength  to  face  a  frowning  world.  I  had  put  my  hands 
to  the  plow  and  I  was  determined  that,  with  God's  help,  I  would 
never  turn  back  to  the  sinful  elements  of  the  world,  the  flesh  and 
the  devil. 



A  BOUT  the  middle  of  February,  1839,  I  started  back  for 
-£^-  Fayette  County,  Illinois,  with  my  family,  in  company  with 
Levi  Stewart  and  Riley  Helm,  two  of  my  old  Illinois  neighbors. 
While  traveling  through  Missouri  we  were  kindly  treated  by 
most  of  the  people  ;  many  of  them  requested  us  to  stop  and  set- 
tle down  by  them.  I  refused  to  do  so,  for  I  knew  there  was  no 
safety  for  a  true  Saint  in  that  State,  at  that  time.  When  we 
crossed  the  Mississippi  River  at  Quincy,  and  touched  Illinois 
soil,  I  felt  like  a  new  man,  and  a  free  American  citizen  again. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  97 

At  this  place  I  found  many  of  the  Saints  who  had  preceded  us, 
camped  along  the  river.  Some  had  obtained  employment,  all 
appeared  happy  in  the  faith  and  strong  in  the  determination  to 
build  up  the  Kingdom.  Here  I  parted  with  Klley  Helm,  his 
team  had  given  out,  and  he  could  go  no  farther.  I  gave  him 
twenty-five  cents  in  money,  all  that  I  had  in  the  world,  and 
twelve  pounds  of  nails,  to  buy  food  with  until  he  could  find  aid 
from  some  other  quarter.  I  had  laid  in  enough  provisions  at 
Brother  Morris'  to  last  me  until  I  could  reach  my  old  home 

I  started  from  Quincy  by  way  of  Mr.  Vanleven's,  the  man  I 
sold  my  cattle  to  when  going  to  join  the  Saints.  Without  meet- 
ing with  any  remarkable  adventures,  I  arrived  at  Vanleven's 
house  and  was  kindly  received  by  him.  He  had  the  money 
ready  for  me,  and  paid  me  in  full  all  he  owed  on  the  cattle.  I 
now  saw  that  some  honesty  yet  remained  in  the  world.  I  took 
$200  and  left  the  rest  of  it  with  my  friend  and  banker,  so  that  it 
would  be  safe  in  case  I  met  another  storm  of  oppression. 

I  then  went  to  Vandalia,  Illinois,  and  put  up  with  my  wife's 
sister's  husband,  Hickerson.  He  was  in  good  circumstances. 
I  left  my  wife  with  her  sister,  after  laying  in  a  supply  of  provis- 
ions for  her  and  our  child.  I  then  commenced  preparing  for  a 
mission.  I  did  not  know  where  I  was  to  go,  but  I  felt  it  my  duty 
to  go  forth  and  give  my  testimony  to  the  truth  of  the  Gospel  as 
revealed  by  Joseph  Smith,  the  Prophet  of  the  everlasting  God. 
Stewart  was  to  go  with  me  ;  he  had  made  arrangements  for  the 
comfort  of  his  family  during  his  absence. 

I  started  on  my  first  mission  about  the  1st  of  April,  1839.  I 
bade  adieu  to  my  little  family  and  started  forth,  an  illiterate, 
inexperienced  person,  without  purse  or  scrip.  I  could  hardly 
quote  a  passage  of  Scripture,  yet  I  went  forth  to  say  to  the  world 
that  I  was  a  minister  of  the  gospel,  bearing  a  message  from  on 
high,  with  the  authority  to  call  upon  all  men  to  repent,  be  bap- 
tized for  the  remission  of  their  sins,  and  receive  the  Holy  Spirit 
by  the  laying  on  of  hands.  I  had  never  attempted  to  preach  a 
discourse  in  my  life.  I  expected  trials,  and  I  had  them  to  un- 
dergo many  times. 

Brother  Stewart  and  myself  started  forth  on  foot,  with  our  va- 
lises on  our  backs.  We  walked  about  thirty  miles  the  first  day, 
and  as  night  was  approaching,  we  called  at  a  house  for  lodging. 
They  had  been  having  a  log  rolling  there  that  day,  and  quite  a 


number  of  people  were  around  the  house.  We  asked  for  lodging 
and  refreshments.  Our  request  was  carried  back  to  the  supper- 
room  to  the  man  of  the  house,  and  we  stood  at  the  gate  awaiting 
the  reply.  Presently  the  man  came  out  and  said  that  no  d — d 
Mormon  preacher  could  stay  in  his  house ;  and  if  we  wished  to 
save  our  scalps,  we  had  better  be  making  tracks  lively".  Brother 
Stewart  took  him  at  his  word,  and  started  off  at  a  double  quick. 
I  followed,  but  more  slowly.  We  made  no  reply  to  that  man's 

A  mile  further  on  we  again  called  for  lodging.  The  man 
could  not  keep  us,  as  he  was  poor,  and  his  family  was  sick ;  but 
he  directed  us  to  a  house  half  a  mile  from  the  traveled  road, 
where  he  said  a  man  lived  that  was  an  infidel,  but  he  would  not 
turn  a  hungry  man  from  his  door.  TTe  went  to  the  house,  and 
asked  for  entertainment.  The  man  said  he  never  turned  a  man 
from  his  door  hungry,  but  he  had  as  soon  entertain  horse-thieves 
as  Mormon  preachers ;  that  he  looked  upon  all  Mormons  as 
thieves,  robbers  and  scoundrels.  There  was  determination  in 
his  voice  as  he  addressed  us  in  this  manner.  He  held  his  rifle 
in  his  hand  while  speaking.  Then  he  said,  "Walk  in,  gentle- 
men. I  never  turn  the  hungry  away."  He  then  addressed  hia 
wife,  a  very  pretty,  unassuming  lady,  and  said,  "Get  these  men 
some  supper,  for  I  suppose  they  feel  pretty  lank." 

A  good  supper  was  soon  on  the  table ;  but  I  could  not  eat. 
Stewart  ate  his  supper,  and  soon  was  enjoying  himself  talking 
to  the  family.  He  was  a  great  talker;  liked  to  hear  himself 
talk.  They  requested  me  to  eat,  but  I  thanked  them,  and  said 
rest  would  do  me  more  good  than  eating.  I  soon  retired,  but 
did  not  sleep.  I  was  humiliated ;  my  proud  spirit  was  broken 
and  humbled ;  the  rough  words  used  toward  me  had  stricken  me 
to  the  heart.  At  daylight  we  were  on  our  way  again. 

About  ten  o'clock  we  arrived  at  a  little  town,  and  went  to 
the  pump  to  get  a  drink.  While  there  a  woman  came  to  the 
pump,  and  asked  us  if  we  were  Mormon  preachers.  We  told 
her  we  were  out  on  that  business,  but  had  never  preached  3ret. 
She  invited  us  to  her  house,  saying  she  owned  the  hotel ;  that 
she  was  a  widow ;  she  would  inform  the  people  of  the  town  that 
we  were  there,  and  as  it  was  the  Sabbath,  we  could  preach  in 
her  house ;  for  she  wished  to  hear  the  strange  doctrine.  We 
consented  to  remain,  and  went  home  with  her  and  had  sorne- 
to  eat.  At  eleven  oclock,  A.  M.,  I  made  my  do  but  to 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  99 

quite  an  attentive  audience.  I  both  quoted  and  mr\de  Scrip- 
ture. I  had  been  fasting  and  praying  until  I  had  become  as 
humble  as  a  child.  My  whole  mind  and  soul  were  swallowed  up 
in  the  Gospel.  My  most  earnest  desire  was  to  be  able  to  im- 
part to  others  that  knowledge  that  I  had  of  the  truths  of  the 
Gospel.  When  I  began  to  speak  I  felt  an  electric  thrill  through 
my  whole  system.  I  hardly  knew  what  I  said,  and  the  people 
said  I  spoke  from  inspiration ;  and  none  of  the  audience  noticed 
my  mistakes  in  quoting  Scripture. 

After  dinner  my  companion,  Stewart,  proposed  to  travel  on, 
and  I  agreeing  with  him,  we  left  the  town,  although  the  people 
wished  us  to  stay  and  preach  again.  I  had  but  little  confidence 
in  myself,  and  concluded  to  preach  but  seldom,  until  I  got 
over  my  timidity  or  man-fearing  feeling  that  most  new  begin- 
ners are  subject  to.  But  I  have  now  been  a  public  speaker  for 
thirty-five  years,  and  I  have  not  yet  entirely  gotten  over  that 

We  started  for  Cincinnati,  and  traveled  two  days  and  a  half 
without  food.  My  boots  hurt  my  feet  and  our  progress  was 
quite  slow.  The  third  night,  we  applied  to  a  tavern  keeper  for 
lodging  and  food.  He  said  we  were  welcome  to  stay  in  his  house 
free,  but  he  must  have  pay  for  what  we  eat.  We  sat  in  the 
hall  all  night,  for  we  were  much  reduced  by  hunger  and  fatigue. 
That  was  a  miserable  night  indeed.  I  reflected  the  matter  over 
and  over  again,  scrutinized  it  up  one  side  and  down  the  other. 
I  could  not  see  why  a  servant  of  God  should  receive  such  treat- 
ment— that  if  I  was  in  the  right  faith,  doing  the  will  of  God, 
that  He  would  open  up  the  way  before  me,  and  not  allow  me  to 
perish  under  the  sore  trials  then  surrounding  me.  I  had  seri- 
ously considered  the  propriety  of  walking  back  to  where  the 
kind  landlady  had  given  us  our  last  meal,  but  was  soon  comfort- 
ed, for  these  words  came  into  my  mind,  "  He  that  putteth  his 
hands  to  the  plow,  and  then  looketh  back,  is  not  fit  for  the  King- 
dom of  Heaven;"  "If  ye  were  of  the  world,  then  the  world 
would  love  its  own,  but  because  I  have  chosen  you  out  of  the 
world,  the  world  persecuteth  you ;"  "  Ye,  and  all  who  live  God- 
ly in  Christ  Jesus,  shall  suffer  persecution,  while  evil  men  and 
seducers  shall  wax  worse  and  worse,  deceiving  and  being  de- 
ceived;" that  the  Son  of  God  himself,  when  he  entered  upon 
the  duties  of  His  mission,  was  led  into  the  wilderness,  where  He 
was  tempted  forty  days  and  nights,  and  when  he  was  hungry  and 


asked  for  bread,  he  was  told,  substantially,  that  if  his  mission 
was  of  God,  that  God  would  feed  him,  that  if  hungry  he  could 
turn  the  stones  to  bread  and  eat.  I  remembered  that  similar 
sayings  had  been  thrown  into  our  teeth.  These  thoughts  passed 
through  my  frame  like  electricity,  or  to  use  the  language  of  one 
of  the  old  prophets,  it  was  like  fire  shut  up  in  my  bones ;  I  felt 
renewed  and  refreshed  from  head  to  foot,  and  determined  to 
trust  in  that  Arm  that  could  not  be  broken,  to  conquer  and  sub- 
due the  passions  of  my  nature,  and  by  the  help  of  God  to  try 
and  bring  them  in  subjection  to  the  will  of  the  Spirit,  and  not  of 
the  flesh,  which  is  carnal,  sensual  and  devilish.  I  determined 
that  there  should  be  no  lack  on  my  part. 

Daylight  came  at  last,  and  we  renewed  our  journey.  I  put  a 
double  guard  over  my  evil  passions  that  were  sown  thickly  in 
my  sinful  nature.  The  passion  most  dreaded  by  me  was  the  lust 
of  the  flesh ;  that  I  knew  to  be  the  worst  enemy  to  my  salvation, 
and  I  determined  to  master  it.  I  have  walked  along  in  silence 
for  hours,  with  my  heart  lifted  up  to  God  in  prayer,  pleading 
with  Him  to  give  me  power  over  my  passions  and  sinful  desires, 
that  I  might  conquer  and  drive  from  my  mind  those  besetting 
sins  that  were  continually  warring  with  the  Spirit,  which,  if 
cherished  or  suffered  to  remain,  would  wound  and  grieve  the 
Spirit  and  drive  it  away.  It  is  written,  "My  Spirit  will  not  dwell 
in  an  unholy  temple."  Jesus  said  to  his  followers  that  they 
were  the  Temple  of  the  Living  God ;  that  if  they  who  had  charge 
of  those  temples,  or  bodies,  allowed  them  to  become  unholy, 
that  he  would  destroy  that  body ;  but  those  who  guarded  their 
temples,  and  kept  them  pure  and  holy,  that  he  and  his  Father 
would  come  and  take  up  their  abode  and  dwell  with  them  as  a 
constant  companion  forever,  even  unto  the  end ;  and  would 
guide  them  in  all  truth  and  show  them  things  past,  present  and 
to  come.  From  day  to  day  I  have  kept  my  mind  in  a  constant 
strain  upon  this  subject.  Notwithstanding  this  the  tempter  was 
ever  on  the  alert,  and  contested  every  inch  of  ground  with  me. 
Often,  while  I  was  in  the  most  solemn  reflections,  the  tempter 
would  place  before  me  some  lovely  female,  possessing  all  the  al- 
lurements of  her  sex,  to  draw  my  mind  from  the  contemplation  of 
holy  things.  For  a  moment  humanity  would  claim  the  victory, 
but  quick  as  thought  I  would  banish  the  vision  from  my  mind, 
and  plead  with  God  for  strength  and  power  to  resist  the  tempta- 
tions that  were  besetting  me,  and  to  enable  me  to  cast  aside  the 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  101 

love  of  sinful  pleasures.  The  words  of  the  Apostle  Paul  were 
appropriate  for  me  at  that  and  in  future  time,  when  he  de- 
clared that  he  died  daily  to  crucify  the  deeds  of  the  flesh ;  so  it 
was  with  me.  I  was  soon  convinced  that  I  could  not  serve  two 
masters,  God  and  Mammon.  When  I  tried  to  please  the  one  I 
was  certain  to  displease  the  other.  I  found  that  I  must  give 
myself  up  wholly  to  God  and  His  ministry,  and  conduct  myself 
as  a  man  of  God,  if  I  would  be  worthy  of  the  name  of  a  mes- 
senger of  salvation.  I  must  have  the  Spirit  of  God  to  accompa- 
ny my  words,  and  carry  conviction  to  the  honest  in  heart.  In 
this  way  I  grew  in  grace  from  day  to  day,  and  I  have  never  seen 
the  day  that  I  regretted  taking  up  my  cross  and  giving  up  all 
other  things  to  follow  and  obey  Christ,  my  Eedeemer  and 

But  I  do  most  sincerely  regret  that  I  have  ever  suffered  my- 
self to  be  captivated  by  the  wiles  of  the  devil,  contrary  to  my 
better  judgment.  I  regret  that  I  have  ever  listened,  or  given 
the  least  credence,  to  the  many  monstrous  absurdities  that 
Brigham  Young  has  introduced  into  the  Mormon  creed,  and 
claimed,  as  the  successor  of  Joseph  Smith,  to  have  coupled  with 
the  gospel  of  Jesus  Christ.  Brigham  Young  has  introduced 
many  things  that  have  no  affinity  with  the  gospel  whatever ;  but 
these  new  doctrines  are  contrary,  in  spirit  and  substance,  to  the 
gospel.  They  are  at  war  with  the  doctrines  of  the  Church,  and 
antagonistic  to  the  peace,  safety,  and  happiness  of  the  people 
known  as  Latter  Day  Saints.  The  whole  study,  aim,  and  design 
of  Brigham  Young  is  to  disrobe  the  Saints  of  every  vestige  of 
their  remaining  constitutional  rights,  and  take  from  them  all 
liberty  of  thought  or  conscience.  He  claims,  and  has  claimed, 
since  he  became  the  head  of  the  Church,  that  the  will  and  acts 
of  the  people  must  all  be  dictated  by  him.  The  people  have  no 
right  to  exercise  any  will  of  their  own.  In  a  word,  he  makes 
himself  out  to  be  as  infallible  as  the  God  of  the  universe,  and 
delights  in  hearing  the  apostles  and  elders  declare  to  the  people 
that  he,  Brigham  Young,  is  God.  He  claims  that  the  people  are 
answerable  to  him  as  to  their  God.  That  they  must  obey  his 
every  beck  and  call.  It  matters  not  what  he  commands  or  re- 
quests the  people  to  do,  it  is  their  duty  to  hear  and  obey.  To 
disobey  the  will  of  Brigham  Young  is,  in  his  mind,  a  sin  against 
the  Holy  Ghost,  and  is  an  unpardonable  sin  to  be  wiped  out 
only  by  blood  atonement.  The  followers  of  Brigham  Young 


are  serfs,  slaves,  and  willing  instruments  to  carry  out  the  selfish 
designs  of  the  man  that  disgraces  the  seat  once  occupied  by 
God's  chosen  Prophet,  Joseph  Smith. 

I  must  now  resume  my  narrative,  but  I  will  hereafter  speak  of 
Brigham  Young  more  at  length. 

We  left  the  Fasting  Hotel ,  as  I  called  it,  and  .  traveled  to 
Hamilton,  Ohio,  then  a  neat  little  town.  As  we  arrived  in  the 
center  of  the  town,  I  felt  impressed  to  call  at  a  restaurant,  kept 
by  a  foreigner.  It  was  then  noon.  This  was  the  first  house 
we  had  called  at  since  morning.  As  we  entered,  the  pro- 
prietor requested  us  to  unstrap  our  valises  and  sit  down  and 
rest,  saying  we  looked  very  tired.  He  asked  where  we  were 
from,  and  where  we  were  going.  We  answered  all  his  questions. 
He  then  offered  us  refreshments ;  we  informed  him  that  we  had 
no  money,  and  had  eaten  nothing  for  three  days.  He  said  it 
made  no  difference  to  him,  that  if  we  had  no  money  we  were 
more  welcome  than  if  we  had  plenty  of  it.  We  then  eat  a  hearty 
meal,  and  he  gave  us  a  drink  of  cider.  He  then  filled  our  knap- 
sacks with  buns,  cheese,  sausages,  and  other  things,  after  which 
he  bid  us  God  speed.  We  traveled  on  with  hearts  full  of  grati- 
tude to  God,  the  bountiful  Giver,  who  had  opened  the  heart  of 
the  stranger  who  had  just  supplied  our  wants,  and  we  felt  grate- 
ful to  and  blessed  the  man  for  his  generous  actions.  While 
passing  through  Cincinnati  we  were  offered  refreshments  by  a 
lady  that  kept  an  inn.  We  crossed  the  Ohio  river  at  Cincinnati, 
and  stopped  over  night  at  a  hotel  on  the  Kentucky  side  of  the 
river.  We  then  traveled  through  Kentucky  and  into  Overton 
and  Jackson  Counties,  Tennessee. 

I  now  bear  testimony,  though  many  years  have  passed  since 
then,  that  from  the  moment  that  I  renewed  my  covenant  to  deny 
myself  of  all  unrighteousness,  and  decided  to  live  the  life  of  a 
man  devoted  to  God's  work  on  earth,  I  have  never  felt  that  I 
was  alone,  or  without  a  Friend  powerful  to  aid,  direct  and  shield 
me  at  all  times  and  during  all  troubles. 

I  stopped  with  my  friend  Levi  Stweart  at  the  houses  of  his 
relatives  in  Overton  and  Jackson  Counties,  and  preached  several 
times.  My  friend  Stewart  was  blessed  with  a  large  bump  of 
self-esteem.  He  imagined  that  he  could  convert  all  of  his  rela- 
tions at  once ;  that  all  he  had  to  do  was  to  present  the  gospel, 
and  they  would  gladly  embrace  it.  He  appeared  to  forget  that 
a  prophet  was  not  without  honor,  save  in  his  own  country  and 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  103 

among  his  own  kinfolks.  Stewart,  though  I  was  his  superior  in 
the  priesthood,  if  not  in  experience  and  ability,  looked  upon  me 
as  a  cypher,  fit  for  nothing.  The  rough  treatment  and  slights 
that  I  received  from  him  were  more  than  humiliating  to  a  man 
of  fine  feelings  and  a  proud  spirit,  such  as  I  possessed.  I  said 
nothing  to  him,  but  I  poured  out  my  soul  in  secret  prayer  to  my 
Heavenly  Father,  asking  him  to  open  the  door  for  my  deliver- 
ance, so  that  my  proud  spirit,  which  was  bound  down,  might 
have  a  chance  to  soar  in  a  free  element. 

One  Sunday  we  attended  a  Baptist  meeting.  We  sat  facing 
the  preacher,  but  at  the  far  side  of  the  house.  My  mind  was 
absorbed  in  meditating  upon  my  future  labors.  Gradually  I  lost 
consciousness  of  my  surroundings,  and  my  whole  being  seemed 
in  another  locality.  I  was  in  a  trance  and  saw  future  events. 
What  I  then  saw  was  to  me  a  reality,  and  I  will  describe  it  as 
such.  I  traveled,  valise  in  hand,  in  a  strange  land,  and  among 
a  people  that  I  had  never  seen.  I  was  kindly  received  by  the 
people,  and  all  my  wants  were  supplied  without  my  having  to 
ask  for  charity.  I  traveled  on,  going  over  a  mountainous  coun- 
try. I  crossed  a  clear,  handsome  river,  and  was  kindly  received 
by  the  family  of  the  owner 'of  the  ferry  at  the  river.  I  stayed 
with  this  family  for  some  days.  I  then  recrossed  the  river  and 
called  at  a  house,  where  I  asked  for  a  drink  of  water,  which  was 
given  to  me.  I  held  quite  a  conversation  with  two  young 
women.  They  informed  me  that  there  was  no  minister  in  the 
neighborhood ;  also  that  their  father  had  gone  in  pursuit  of  a 
Mormon  preacher  that  had  passed  that  way  a  few  days  before. 
A  few  days  passed,  and  I  saw  myself  in  the  midst  of  a  large 
congregation,  to  whom  I  was  preaching.  1  also  baptized  a  large 
number  and  organized  quite  a  flourishing  branch  of  the  Church 
there,  and  was  in  charge  of  that  people.  I  was  very  popular 
with,  and  almost  worshiped  b}',  my  congregation.  I  saw  all  this, 
and  much  more,  when  my  vision  closed. 

My  mind  gradually  changed  back,  and  I  found  myself  sitting 
in  the  meeting  house,  where  I  had  been  just  forty  minutes  be- 
fore. This  was  an  open  day  vision,  in  which  the  curtains  of 
heaven  were  raised  and  held  aside  from  futurity  to  allow  me  to 
look  into  the  things  which  were  to  come.  A  feeling  of  heavenly 
rapture  filled  my  being,  so  much  so  that,  like  the  apostle  who 
was  caught  up  into  the  third  heaven,  I  did  not  know  whether  I 
was  in  the  body  or  out  of  it  during  my  vision.  I  saw  things 


that  it  would  be  unlawful  for  men  to  utter.  While  the  vision 
lasted  my  soul  was  lighted  up  as  if  illuminated  with  the 
candle  of  God.  When  the  vision  closed,  the  hallowed  influ- 
ence gradually  withdrew;  yet  leaving  sufficient  of  its  glorious 
influence  upon  my  soul  to  justify  me  in  f-  "Ung  and  knowing 
that  I  was  then  chosen  of  God  as  a  servant  in  his  earthly 
kingdom  ;  and  I  was  also  made  to  know,  by  my  sensations, 
that  my  vision  was  real,  and  would  soon  be  verified  in  every 

At  the  close  of  the  church  services,  we  returned  to  our  lodg- 
ings. Stewart  asked  me  if  I  was  sick.  I  said,  "No,  I  am  not 
sick,  but  I  feel  serious ;  yet  I  am  comfortable."  That  evening, 
after  I  had  given  some  time  to  secret  prayer,  I  retired  to  rest. 
Very  soon  afterwards  the  vision  returned,  though  somewhat  va- 
ried. I  was  in  the  midst  of  a  strange  people,  to  whom  I  was 
propounding  the  gospel.  They  received  it  with  honest  hearts, 
and  looked  upon  me  as  a  messenger  of  salvation.  I  visited  from 
house  to  house,  surrounded  by  friends  and  kindred  spirits,  with 
whom  I  had  once  been  familiar  in  another  state  of  existence.  I 
was  in  the  spirit,  and  communing  with  the  host  of  spirits  that 
surrounded  me ;  and  encouraged  me  to  return  to  the  body,  and 
continue  to  act  the  part  that  my  Master  had  assigned  me.  No 
person,  except  those  who  have  entered  by  pureness  of  heart  and 
constant  communion  with  God,  can  ever  enter  into  the  joyous 
host,  with  whom  I  then,  and  in  after  life,  held  intercourse. 

When  I  came  to  myself  in  the  morning,  I  determined  to  trav- 
el until  the  end  of  time,  to  find  the  people  and  country  that  God 
had  shown  me  in  my  first  vision ;  and  I  made  my  arrangements 
to  start  forth  again,  knowing  that  God  now  went  with  me. 

I  started  off  the  next  morning,  after  having  a  talk  with  Brother 
Stewart.  He  tried  to  dissuade  me  from  going,  saying  I  had 
little  experience,  not  sufficient  to  warrant  my  traveling  alone, 
that  we  had  better  remain  together  where  we  were  for  a  season, 
for  we  had  a  home  there,  and  we  could  study  and  inform  our- 
selves more  thoroughly  before  starting  out  among  strangers.  I 
told  him  that,  in  and  of  my  own  strength  I  was  but  a  weak  vessel ; 
but  my  trust  was  in  God,  and  unless  He  would  bless  my  labors 
I  could  not  accomplish  much.  That  I  was  God's  servant,  en- 
gaged in  His  work,  therefore  I  looked  to  Him  for  strength  and 
grace  sufficient  to  sustain  me  in  my  day  of  trial.  That  I  trusted 
in  the  arm  of  God  alone,  and  not  in  one  of  flesh. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  105 

I  started  off  in  a  southwesterly  course,  over  the  Cumberland 
Mountains,  and  went  about  seventy  miles  through  a  heavily 
timbered  country.  I  found  many  species  of  wild  fruit  in  abun- 
dance along  the  way.  Springs  of  pure,  cold  water  were  quite 
common.  I  passed  many  little  farms  and  orchards  of  cultivated 
fruit,  such  as  cherries,  peaches,  pears  and  apples.  As  I  pro- 
ceeded, the  country  became  familiar  to  me,  so  much  so  that  I 
soon  knew  I  was  on  the  very  ground  I  had  seen  in  my  vision  in 
the  Baptist  Church.  I  saw  the  place  where  I  had  held  my  first 
meeting,  and  my  joy  was  great  to  behold  with  my  eyes  what  I 
had  seen  through  a  glass  darkly.  I  turned  aside  from  the  road, 
and  beneath  the  spreading  branches  of  the  forest  trees  I  lifted 
my  heart  with  gratitude  to  God  for  what  he  had  done  for  me.  I 
then  went  to  the  house  where  I  had  seen  the  multitude  assem- 
ble, and  where  I  was  preaching.  I  saw  the  two  young  ladies 
there  that  I  had  beheld  in  my  vision.  They  appeared  to  me  as 
though  I  had  known  them  from  infancy,  they  so  perfectly  ac- 
corded with  those  that  I  had  seen  while  God  permitted  me  to 
see  into  futurity.  Yes,  I  saw  the  ladies,  but  their  father  was 
gone  from  home.  I  asked  for  a  drink  of  water,  and  it  was 
handed  to  me,  as  I  had  seen  it  done  in  my  vision.  I  asked 
them  if  there  had  ever  been  any  Mormon  preachers  in  that 
country.  They  said  there  had  not  been  any  there.  The  young 
ladies  were  modest  and  genteel  in  behavior. 

I  passed  on  to  the  Cumberland  River,  was  set  over  the  river 
by  the  ferryman,  and  lodged  at  his  house.  So  far  all  was  natu- 
ral, it  was  part  of  what  God  had  shown  me ;  but  I  was  then  at 
the  outer  edge  of  my  familiar  scenery.  I  stayed  about  a  week 
with  the  ferryman.  His  name  was  Vanleven,  a  relative  of  my 
friend  and  banker  in  Illinois.  I  made  myself  useful  while  there. 
I  attended  the  ferry,  and  did  such  work  as  I  could  see  needed 
attending  to.  I  also  read  and  preached  Mormon  doctrines  to  the 
family.  On  the  fifth  day  after  reaching  the  ferry,  I  saw  five  men 
cominc  to  the  ferry.  I  instantly  recognized  one  of  them  as  the 
man  i  had  seen  in  my  vision — the  man  that  took  me  to  his 
house  to  preach.  My  heart  leaped  for  joy,  for  God  had  sent 
him  in  answer  to  the  prayers  I  had  offered  to  God,  asking  that 
the  man  should  be  sent  for  me.  I  crossed  the  men  over  and 
back  again,  and  although  J  talked  considerably  to  the  man  about 
what  was  uppermost  in  my  mind,  he  said  nothing  about 
my  going  home  with  him.  I  was  much  disappointed.  I  retired 


for  secret  prayer,  and  asked  God,  in  the  name  of  His  Son  Jesus 
Christ,  to  aid  me,  to  send  the  man  whom  I  had  seen  in  my  vision 
back  for  me.  Before  I  left  my  knees  I  had  an  evidence  that 
my  prayer  was  answered.  The  next  morning  at  daylight  I  in- 
formed my  friends  that  I  must  depart  in  search  of  my  field  of 
labor.  They  asked  me  to  stay  until  breakfast,  but  I  refused. 
One  of  the  negroes  put  me  over  the  river,  and  directed  me  how- 
to  cross  the  mountains  on  the  trail  that  was  much  shorter  than 
the  wagon  road.  I  stopped  in  a  little  cove  and  ate  a  number  of 
fine,  ripe  cherries.  I  then  went  on  until  I  reached  what  to  me 
was  enchanted  ground.  I  met  the  two  sisters  at  the  gate,  and' 
asked  them  if  their  father  was  at  home.  "No,  he  is  not  at 
home,"  said  the  ladies,  "  he  has  gone  to  the  ferry  to  see  a  Mor- 
mon preacher,  and  see  if  he  can  get  him  to  come  here  and  preach- 
in  this  neighborhood,"  and  then  said  I  must  have  met  him  on 
the  road.  I  told  them  that  I  had  come  over  the  trail,  and  said 
I  was  probably  the  man  he  had  gone  for.  They  replied,  "  Our 
father  said  that  if  you  came  this  way,  to  have  you  stop  and  stay 
here  until  his  return,  and  to  tell  you  that  you  are  welcome  to- 
preach  at  our  house  at  any  time."  This  was  on  Friday.  I  took 
out  my  pencil  and  wrote  a  notice  that  I  would  preach  at  that 
place  on  the  following  Sunday,  at  ten  o'clock,  A.  M.  I  handed 
it  to  the  girls.  They  agreed  to  have  the  appointment  circulated. 
I  passed  on  and  preached  at  a  place  twelve  miles  from  there, 
and  returned  in  time  for  my  appointment.  When  I  arrived 
within  sight  of  the  place  of  meeting,  I  was  filled  with  doubt  and 
anxiety.  I  trembled  all  over,  for  I  saw  that  a  vast  concourse  of 
people  had  come  to  hear  an  inexperienced  man  preach  the  gos- 
pel. I  went  into  the  grove  and  again  prayed  for  strength  and 
assistance  from  my  Father  in  Heaven,  to  enable  me  to  speak  His 
truth  aright.  I  felt  strengthened  and  comforted.  As  I  arose 
from,  prayer,  these  words  came  into  my  mind,  "Truth  is 
mighty  and  will  prevail." 

I  waited  until  the  hour  arrived  for  preaching ;  then  I  ap- 
proached the  place  where  I  had  once  been  in  a  vision.  This 
meeting-place  was  in  a  valley,  near  a  bold,  pure  spring ;  on 
either  side  was  a  high,  elevated  country ;  in  the  centre  of  this 
valley  there  stood  a  large  blacksmith  and  wagon  shop,  surround- 
ed with  a  bower  of  brush  wood,  to  protect  the  audience  from  the 
sun.  This  bower  would  seat  one  thousand  people.  In  the  cen- 
tre of  the  bower  they  had  erected  a  frame  work  or  raised  plat- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE,  107 

form  for  a  pulpit.  I  took  my  place  and  preached  for  one  hour 
and  a  half.  My  tongue  was  like  the  pen  of  a  ready  writer.  I 
scarcely  knew  what  I  was  saying.  I  then  opened  the  doors  of 
the  Church  for  the  admission  of  members.  Five  persons  joined 
the  Church,  and  I  appointed  another  meeting  for  that  night.  I 
again  preached,  when  two  more  joined  the  Church.  The  next 
day  I  baptized  the  seven  new  members.  I  then  arranged  to 
hold  meetings  at  that  place  three  times  a  week.  I  visited  around 
the  country,  seeking  to  convert  sinners,  while  not  engaged  at  this 
place.  The  first  converts  were  leading  people  in  that  county. 
Elisha  Sanders  and  his  wife  and  daughter  were  the  first  to  receive 
the  gospel.  Sanders  was  a  farmer ;  he  had  a  large  flouring  mill,, 
owned  a  wood  yard,  arid  was  engaged  in  boat-building  on  the 
Cumberland  River.  Caroline  C.  Sanders  had  volunteered  to 
publish  the  appointment  of  my  first  meeting,  which  I  left  with, 
the  daughters  of  Mr.  Smith. 

I  labored  at  this  place  two  months,  and  baptized  twenty-eight 
persons,  mostly  the  heads  of  families.  I  then  organized  them, 
into  a  branch  of  the  Church.  Brother  Sanders  fitted  up  a  room 
very  handsomely  for  me,  in  which  I  could  retire  for  study,  rest 
and  secret  prayer.  I  was  made  to  feel  at  home  there,  and  felt 
that  God  had  quite  fully  answered  my  prayers.  I  had  the 
knowledge  that  God's  Spirit  accompanied  my  words,  carrying 
conviction  to  the  hearts  of  sinful  hearers,  and  gave  me  souls  as 
seals  to  my  ministry.  J<« 

Brother  Stewart  soon  preached'  himself  out  at  his  relatives' 
neighborhood.  He  heard  of  my  success,  and  came  to  me.  He 
said  that  the  people  where  he  had  been  preaching  were  an  unbe- 
lieving set.  I  introduced  him  to  the  members  of  my  congrega- 
tion, and  had  him  preach  with  me  a  few  times,  which  gratified 
him  very  much.  One  Sunday  we  were  to  administer  the  Ordi- 
nance of  Baptism.  Several  candidates  were  in  attendance. 
Brother  Stewart  was  quite  anxious"  to  baptize  the  people.  I  was 
willing  to  humor  him.  So  I  said,  "  My  friends,  Brother  Stewart, 
a  priest  of  the  New  Dispensation,  will  administer  the  Ordinance 
of  Baptism."  The  people  stood  still;  no  one  would  go  forward 
or  consent  for  him  to  baptize  them.  They  said  they  would  not 
be  baptized  until  I  would  baptize  them  myself.  I  told  them  T 
would  act  if  they  desired  it.  So  I  baptized  the  people,  and* 
Brother  Stewart  was  much  offended  with  them.  He  had  not 
3'et  learned  that  he  that  exalteth  himself  shall  be  cast  down, 


and  he  that  humbleth  himself  shall  be  exalted.  I  then  called  on 
the  people  for  a  contribution,  to  get  some  clothing  for  Brother 
Stewart.  I  had  concluded  to  have  him  return  home,  and  wished 
to  clothe  him  up  before  he  started,  for  he  was  then  quite  in  need 
of  it.  The  contribution  was  more  liberal  than  I  expected. 

I  stayed  there  some  three  weeks  after  Brother  Stewart  had 
started  for  home.  Then  I  made  up  my  mind  to  go  home  and 
visit  my  family.  Brother  E.  Sanders  invited  me  to  go  to  Gains- 
borough with  him,  where  he  presented  me  with  a  nice  supply  of 
clothing.  Caroline  C.  Sanders  presented  me  with  a  fine  horse, 
saddle  and  bridle,  and  $12  in  money.  The  congregation  gave 
me  $50,  and  I  had  from  them  an  outfit  worth  over  $300.  I  at 
first  refused  to  accept  the  horse,  but  Miss  Sanders  appeared  so 
grieved  at  this  that  I  finally  took  it.  I  left  my  congregation  in 
charge  of  Elder  Julien  Moses,  and  started  for  my  family  about 
the  1st  of  October,  1839.  I  promised  to  call  on  my  flock  the 
next  Spring,  or  to  send  a  suitable  minister  to  wait  upon  them. 

When  I  reached  Vandalia,  Illinois,  I  found  my  family  well. 
God  had  raised  up  friends  for  them  in  my  absence.  The  Saints 
were  then  gathering  at  Commerce,  Hancock  County,  Illinois.  I 
visited  my  sister's  family  that  Fall ;  they  then  lived  about  one 
hundred  miles  north  of  Vandalia.  I  preached  often  through 
Central  Illinois,  and  that  Fall  I  baptized  all  of  my  wife's  family, 
except  her  father.  He  held  out  and  refused  the  gospel  until  he 
was  on  his  death  bed ;  then  he  demanded  baptism,  but  being  in 
a  country  place  he  died  before  an  elder  could  be  procured  to 
baptize  him.  But  by  the  rules  of  our  Church  a  person  can  be 
baptized  for  the  dead,  and  so  he  was  saved  to  eternal  life  by  the 
baptism  of  one  of  his  children  for  the  salvation  of  his  soul. 



SHORTLY  after  my  return  to  Illinois,  I  built  a  house  for  my 
family,  and  that  "Winter  assisted  my  brother-in-law,  Richard 
"Woolsey,  to  do  his  work  in  the  blacksmith  shop.  I  sometimes 
visited  my  wife's  sister  Nancy  and  family.  They  lived  on  the 
Four-Mile  Prairie,  in  Fayette  County,  Illinois.  Nancy  had 
married  a  man  named  Thomas  Gatewood ;  he  was  known  in  that 
county  as  young  Tom,  as  his  father's  name  was  Thomas.  Nancy 
was  the  second  wife  of  young  Tom.  His  first  wife  left  one  child, 
a  boy ;  he  was  quite  a  lad  then,  and  very  chubby.  The  people 
when  speaking  of  the  Gatewood  family,  would  de  signate  them  in 
this  way,  "  Old  Tom,"  "  Young  Tom,"  and  "  Tom  Body,"  and 
I  understand  this  name  stuck  to  them  for  many  years. 

During  the  Winter  I  entered  into  a  trading  and  trafficking 
business  with  G.  W.  Hickerson.  We  would  go  over  the  country 
and  buy  up  chickens,  butter,  feathers,  beeswax,  coon  skins,  etc., 
and  haul  them  to  St.  Louis,  and  carry  back  calicoes  and  other 
goods  in  payment  for  the  articles  first  purchased.  We  made 
some  money  that  way.  While  carrying  on  this  trade  I  drew  the 
remainder  of  my  money  from  my  friend,  Vanleven,  and  began 
my  preparations  for  again  joining  the  Saints  at  Nauvoo.  About 
the  middle  of  April,  1840,  I  succeeded  in  securing  a  good  out- 
fit, and  with  my  old  friend  Stewart,  again  joined  the  Saints  at 
Nauvoo.  I  felt  it  to  be  God's  will  that  I  must  obey  the  orders 
of  the  Prophet,  hence  my  return  to  ftie  society  of  the  brethren. 

Joseph  Smith,  and  his  two  counselors,  his  brother  Hyrum  and 
Sidney  Rigdon,  had  been  released  from  jail  in  Richmond,  Mis- 
souri, and  were  again  at  the  head  of  the  Church,  and  directing 
the  energies  of  the  brethren.  It  was  the  policy  of  Joseph  Smith 
to  hold  the  city  lots  in  Nauvoo  at  a  high  price,  so  as  to  draw 
money  from  the  rich,  but  not  so  high  as  to  prevent  the  poor  from 
obtaining  homes.  The  poor  who  lost  all  their  property  in  follow- 
ing the  Church,  were  presented  with  a  lot  free,  in  the  center  of 



the  city.  The  Prophet  told  them  not  to  sell  their  lots  for  less 
than  $800  to  $1,000,  but  to  sell  for  that  when  offered,  then  they 
could  take  a  cheaper  lot  in  the  outskirts  of  the  city,  and  have 
the  money  to  fix  up  comfortably.  All  classes,  Jews  and  Gen- 
tiles, were  allowed  to  settle  there,  one  man's  money  was  as  good 
as  another ..K  No  restrictions  were  then  placed  on  the  people ; 
they  had  the  right  to  trade  with  any  one  that  suited  them.  All 
classes  attended  meetings,  dances,  theatres,  and  other  gather- 
ings, and  were  permitted  to  eat  and  drink  together.  The  out- 
siders were  invited  to  join  in  all  of  our  amusements.  Ball  was  a 
favorite  sport  with  the  men,  and  the  Prophet  frequently  took  a 
hand  in  the  sport.  He  appeared  to  treat  all  men  alike,  and 
never  condemned  a  man  until  he  had  given  him  a  fair  trial  to 
learn  what  was  in  him. 

Among  the  first  things  done  was  the  laying  of  the  foundation 
of  the  Temple.  When  this  was  done  each  man  was  required  to 
do  one  day's  work  in  every  ten  days,  in  quarrying  rock  or  doing 
other  work  for  the  Temple.  A  company  was  sent  up  the  Mis- 
sissippi River  to  the  Pineries  to  get  out  lumber  for  the  Temple 
and  other  public  buildings.  The  money  for  city  lots  went  into 
the  Church  treasury  to  purchase  materials  for  the  Temple, 
which  could  not  be  supplied  by  the  Saints'  own  labor. 

At  the  conference  in  April,  1840,  the  Prophet  delivered  a 
lengthy  address  upon  the  history  and  condition  of  the  Saints. 
He  reminded  the  brethren  that  all  had  suffered  alike  for  the  sake 
of  the  gospel.X  The  rich  and  the^^oor  had  been  brought  to  a 
-common  level  by  persecution ;  that  many  of  the  brethren  were 
owing  debts  that  they  had  been  forced  to  contract  in  order  to 
get  out  of  Missouri  alive.  He  considered  it  was  unchristian-like 
for  the  brethren  to  demand  the  payment  of  such  debts ;  that  he 
did  not  wish  to  screen  any  one  from  the  just  payment  of  his 
debts,  but  he  did  think  that  it  would  be  for  the  glory  of  the 
kingdom  if  the  people  would,  of  their  own  will,  freely  forgive 
each  other  for  all  their  existing  indebtedness,  one  to  the  other, 
then  renew  their  covenants  with  Almighty  Gjod  and  with  each 
other;  refrain  from  evil,  and  live  their  religion;  by  this  means, 
God's  Holy  Spirit  would  support  and  bless  the  people.  The 
people  were  then  asked  if  they  were  in  favor  of  thus  bringing 
about  the  year  of  jubilee.  All  that  felt  so  inclined  were  asked 
to  make  it  known  by  raising  their  hands ;  every  hand  in  the 
audience  was  raised.  The  Prophet  then  declared  all  debts  of  the 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  Ill 

Saints,  to  and  from  each  other,  forgiven  and  wiped__put.X  He 
then  gave  the  following  words  of  advice  to  the  people  :U"  I  wish 
you  all  to  know  that  because  you  were  justified  in  taking  prop- 
erty from  your  enemies  while  engaged  in  war  in  Missouri, 
•which  was  needed  to  support  you,  there  is  now  a  different  con- 
dition of  things  existing.  We  are  no  longer  at  war,  and_you 
must  stop  stealing.X  When  the  right  time  comes  we  will  go  in 
force  and  take  the  whole  State  of  Missouri.  It  belongs  to  us  as 
our  inheritance ;  but  I  want  no  more  petty  stealing.  A  man  that 
will  steal  petty  articles  from  his  enemies,  will,  when  occasion 
offers,  steal  from  his  brethren  too.  Now  I  command  you  that  you 
that  have  stolen,  must  steal  no  more.  I  ask  all  the  brethren  to 
now  renew  their  covenants  and  start  anew  to  live  their  reli- 
gion. If  you  will  do  this,  and  you  will  forgive  my  faults,  I  will 
forgive  you  your  past  sins."  The  vote  was  taken  on  this  prop- 
osition, and  resulted  in  the  unanimous  decision  of  the  people 
to  act  as  requested  by  the  Prophet.  ^y^Ji.  Sb^-faGd- 
X  He  then  continued,  sayiug  that'  he  never  professed  to  be  a 
perfect  man.  Said  he,  "I  have  my  failings  and  passions  to 
contend  with  the  same  as  the  greatest  stranger  to  God  has.  I 
am  tempted  the  same  as  you  are,  my  brethren.  I  am  not  infal- 
lible. All  men  are  subject  to  temptation,  but  they  are  not  justi- 
fied in  yielding  to  their  passions  and  sinful  natures.X  There  is  a 
constant  warfare  between  the  two  natures  of  man.  This  is  the 
warfare  of  the  Saints. X  It  is  written  that  the  Lord  would  have  a 
tried  people — a  people  that  would  be  tried  as  gold  is  tried  by 
the  fire,  even  seven  times  tried  and  purified  from  the  dross  of 
unrighteousnessXThe  chances  of  all  men  for  salvation  are  equal.X 
True,  some  have  greater  capacity  than  others,  yet  the  chances 
for  improving  our  minds  and  subduing  our  passions  by  denying 
ourselves  of  all  unrighteousness  and  cultivating  the  principles  of 
purity  are  all  the  same  ;  they  are  within  the  reach  of  every  man ; 
all  have  their  free  agency ;  all  can  lay  hold  of  the  promises  of 
eternal  life,  if  they  will  only  be  faithful  and  comply  with  God's 
will  and  obey  the  priesthood  in  these  last  days.  Never  betray 
any  one,  for  God  hates  a  traitor,  and  so  do  I,"  said  the 
Prophet.  Then  he  said,  "Stand  by  each  other;  never  desert  a 
friend,  especially  in  the  hour  of  trouble.  Remember  that  our 
reward  consists  in  doing  good  acts  and  not  in  long  prayers 
like  the  Scribes  and  Pharisees  of  old,  who  prayed  to  be  seen  of 
.men.  Never  mind  what  men  think  of  you,  if  your  hearts  are 


right  before  God.  It  is  written,  '  Do  unto  others  as  you  would 
that  others  should  do  unto  you.'  The  first  commandment  is, 
4  Thou  shalt  love  the  Lord  thy  God  with  all  thy  heart,  mind  and 
strength.'  The  second  commandment  is,  'Thou  shalt  love  thy 
neighbor  as  thyself.'  Upon  these  two  hang  all  the  law  and  the 
prophets."  To  more  deeply  impress  these  truths  upon  the  minds 
of  his  people,  the  Prophet  gave  them  an  account  of  the  man  who 
fell  among  thieves  and  was  relieved  by  the  stranger,  and  he  also 
taught  us  from  the  Scriptures,  as  well  as  by  the  revelations  that 
he  had  received  from  God,  that  it  is  humane  acts  and  deeds  of 
kindness,  justice  and  words  of  truth,  that  are  accounted  to  man 
for  righteousness ;  that  prayers  made  to  be  heard  by  men,  and 
hypocritical  groans,  are  displeasing  to  God.  The  Prophet 
talked  to  us  plainly,  and  fully  instructed  us  in  our  duty  and  gave 
the  long-faced  hypocrites  such  a  lecture  that  much  good  was 
done.  I  had  at  that  time  learned  to  dread  a  religious  fanatic, 
and  I  was  pleased  to  hear  the  Prophet  lay  down  the  law  to  them. 
A  fanatic  is  always  dangerous,  but  a  religious  fanatic  is  to  be 
dreaded  by  all  men — there  is  no  reason  in  one  of  them.  I  can- 
not understand  how  men  will  blindly  follow  fanatical  teachers. 
I  always  demanded  a  reason  for  my  belief,  and  hope  I  will  never 
become  a  victim  of  fanaticism. 

During  the  summer  of  1840  I  built  a  house  and  such  other 
buildings  as  I  required  on  my  lot  on  Warsaw  street,  and  was 
again  able  to  say  I  had  a  home. 

The  brethren  were  formed  into  military  companies,  that  yearr 
in  Nauvoo.  Col.  A.  P.  Rockwood  was  drill  master.  Rock- 
wood  was  then  a  Captain,  but  was  afterwards  promoted  to  Col- 
onel of  the  Militia  or  Host  of  Israel.  I  was  then  fourth  corporal 
of  a  company.  The  people  were  regularly  drilled  and  taught 
military  tactics,  so  that  they  would  be  ready  to  act  when  the 
time  came  for  returning  to  Jackson  County,  the  promised  land  of 
our  inheritance.  Most  of  my  wife's  relatives  came  to  XHUVOO 
that  year,  and  settled  near  my  house. 

In  1841  I  was  sent  on  a  mission  through  Illinois,  Kentucky 
and  Tennessee.  I  also  visited  portions  of  Arkansas.  I  traveled 
in  company,  on  that  mission,  with  Elder  Franklin  Edwards.  I 
was  then  timid  about  speaking  in  towns  or  cities.  I  felt  that  I 
had  not  sufficient  experience  to  justify  me  in  doing  so.  My 
comrade  had  less  experience  than  I  had,  and  the  worst  of  it, 
he  would  not  study  to  improve  his  mind  or  permit  me  to  study 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  113 

in  quiet.  He  was  negligent,  and  did  not  pay  sufficient  attention 
to  secret  prayer,  to  obtain  that  nearness  to  God  that  is  so  nec- 
essary for  a  minister  to  have  if  he  expects  his  works  to  be 
blessed  with  Divine  favor.  I  told  him  he  must  do  better,  or  go 
home.  He  promised  to  do  better ;  also  agreed  that  he  would  do 
the  begging  for  food  and  lodging,  and  I  might  do  the  preaching. 
I  accepted  the  offer,  and  in  this  way  we  got  along  well  and 
pleasantly  for  some  time. 

At  the  crossing  of  the  Forkadeer  River  we  staid  over  night 
with  the  ferryman,  and  were  well  entertained.  When  we  left 
the  ferry,  the  old  gentleman  told  us  that  we  would  be  in  a  set- 
tlement of  Methodist  people  that  evening,  and  that  they  were 
set  in  their  notions,  and  hated  Mormons  as  bad  as  the  Church 
of  England  hated  the  Methodists,  and  if  we  got  food  or  shelter 
amongst  them,  he  would  be  mistaken.  He  said  for  us  to  begin 
to  ask  for  lodging  by  at  least  an  hour  by  sun,  or  we  would  not 
get  it.  In  the  after  part  of  the  day  we  remembered  the  advice 
of  the  morning  and  stopped  at  every  house.  The  houses  were 
about  half  a  mile  apart.  We  were  refused  at  every  house. 
The  night  came  on  dark  and  stormy,  the  rain  fell  in  torrents, 
while  heavy  peals  of  thunder  and  bright  flashes  of  lightning 
were  constant,  or  seemed  so  to  me.  The  timber  was  very  heavy, 
making  the  night  appear  darker  than  it  would  otherwise  have 
been.  The  road  was  badly  cut  up  with  heavy  freight  teams  pass- 
ing over  it,  and  the  holes  were  full  of  water.  We  fell  into  many 
holes  of  mud  and  water,  and  were  soon  well  soaked.  About  ten 
o'clock  we  called  at  the  house  of  a  Methodist  class  leader, 
and  asked  him  for  lodging  and  food.  He  asked  who  we  were. 
We  told  him  that  we  were  Mormon  preachers.  As  soon  as  he 
heard  the  name  Mormon,  he  became  enraged,  and  said  no 
Mormon  could  stay  in  his  house.  We  started  on.  Soon  after- 
wards we  heard  him  making  efforts  to  set  his  dogs  on  us.  The 
dogs  came  running  and  barking,  as  a  pack  of  hounds  always  do. 
Brother  Edwards  was  much  frightened,  but  I  told  him  not  to  be 
scared,  I  would  protect  him.  So  when  the  dogs  came  near  us 
I  commenced  to  clap  my  hands  and  shouted  like  the  fox  was 
just  ahead  of  us ;  this  caused  the  whole  pack  of  dogs  to  rush  on 
and  leave  us  in  safety.  In  this  way  we  escaped  injury  from  the 
pack  of  ten  or  more  dogs  that  the  Methodist  had  put  on  our 
trail.  The  next  house  we  came  to  we  were  again  refused  shel- 
ter or  food.  I  asked  for  permission  to  sit  under  his  porch  until 


the  rain  stopped.  "  No  "  said  he,  "  if  you  were  not  Mormons, 
I  would  gladly  entertain  you,  but  as  you  are  Mormons  I  dare 
not  permit  }x>u  to  stop  around  me."  This  made  twenty-one 
houses  that  we  had  stopped  at  and  asked  for  lodging,  and  at 
each  place  had  been  refused,  simply  because  we  were  Mormons. 
About  midnight  my  partner  grew  very  sick  of  his  contract  to  do 
the  begging,  and  was  resolved  to  die  before  he  would  ask  for 
aid  from  such  people  again.  I  told  him  I  would  have  both  food 
and  lodging  at  the  next  place  we  stopped.  He  said  it  was  use- 
less to  make  the  attempt,  and  I  confess  that  the  numerous  re- 
fusals we  had  met  with  were  calculated  to  dishearten  many  a 
person,  but  I  had  faith  in  God.  I  had  never  yet  gone  to  Him 
in  an  humble  and  penitent  manner  without  receiving  strength 
to  support  me,  nor  had  he  ever  sent  me  empty-handed  from  Him. 
My  trust  was  in  God,  and  I  advanced  to  the  next  house  confi- 
dent that  I  would  not  ask  in  vain.  As  we  approached  the 
house  we  discovered  that  some  negroes  were  having  a  dance.  I 
asked  where  their  master  was ;  they  pointed  out  the  house  to 
me.  We  walked  to  the  house,  and  up  on  the  porch.  The  door 
was  standing  open,  a  candle  was  burning,  and  near  the  fire  a 
woman  was  sitting  holding  a  sick  child  on  her  lap.  The  man 
was  also  sitting  near  the  fire.  Our  footsteps  attracted  their  at- 
tention ;  our  appearance  was  not  inviting  as  we  stood  there  wet, 
muddy  and  very  tired.  I  spoke  in  a  loud  voice,  saying,  "  Sir, 
I  beseech  you,  in  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ,  to  entertain  us  as 
servants  of  the  living  God.  We  are  ministers  of  the  gospel, 
we  travel  without  purse  or  scrip ;  we  preach  without  hire,  and 
are  now  without  money ;  we  are  wet,  weary  and  hungry ;  we 
want  refreshments,  rest  and  shelter."  The  man  sprang  to  his 
feet,  but  did  not  say  a  word.  His  wife  said,  "Tell  them  to 
come  in."  I  said,  "We  will  do  you  no  harm,  we  are  friends, 
not  enemies."  We  were  invited  in.  Servants  were  called,  a 
good  fire  was  made  and  a  warm  supper  placed  before  us.  After 
eating  we  were  shown  to  a  good  bed.  We  slept  until  near  ten 
o'clock  in  the  morning.  When  we  did  awaken,  our  clothes 
•were  clean  and  dry,  and  a  good  breakfast  was  ready  and  wait- 
ing for  us.  In  fact,  we  were  as  well  treated  as  it  was  possible 
to  ask  for. 

This  family  had  lately  come  from  the  State  of  Virginia,  in- 
tending to  try  that  climate  for  a  year,  and  then  if  they  liked  it, 
tiiey  intended  to  purchase  land  and  stay  there  permanently. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE  115 

After  breakfast,  the  gentleman  said,  "You  had  a  severe  time  of 
it  amongst  the  Christians  yesterday  and  last  night.  As  you  are 
ministers,  sent  out  to  convert  sinners,  you  cannot  do  better  than 
to  preach  to  these  Christians,  and  seek  to  convert  them."  He 
offered  to  send  word  all  over  the  settlement,  and  notify  the  peo- 
ple, if  we  would  only  stay  there  and  preach  that  night.  We  ac- 
cepted his  offer,  and  remained  that  day ;  thus  securing  the  rest 
that  we  so  much  needed,  and  thanking  God  for  still  remembering 
and  caring  for  us,  His  servants. 

Agreeably  to  arrangements,  previously  made,  we  preached  in 
the  Methodist  meeting-house,  to  a  very  attentive  audience,  upon 
the  subject  of  the  first  principles  of  the  gospel ;  alluded  to  the 
treatment  of  Christ  and  his  followers  by  the  Pharisees  and  Sad- 
ducees,  the  religious  sects  of  those  days,  and  that  we  preached 
the  same  gospel,  and  fared  but  little  better.  This  meeting- 
house was  built  on  the  line  between  the  Methodists  and  Univer- 
salists.  Members  from  both  persuasions  were  present.  Our 
neighbor,  who  fed  and  cared  for  us,  leaned  to  the  latter  faith. 
At  the  close  of  our  remarks,  the  class-leader,  who  had  set  the 
hounds  on  our  track,  was  the  first  to  the  stand  to  invite  us  home 
with  him. 

I  told  him  that  the  claims  of  those  who  did  not  set  their  dogs 
on  us,  after  they  had  turned  us  from  their  doors  hungry,  were 
first  with  me — that  his  claims  with  me  were  an  after  considera- 
tion. He  said  it  was  his  negro  boys  that  sent  the  hounds  after 
us,  but  he  would  not  be  bluffed.  He  said  that  one  of  us  had  to 
go  with  him — that  if  I  would  not  go  Frank  must  go.  I  told 
him  that  Elder  Edwards  could  use  his  own  pleasure,  but  I 
would  hold  a  meeting  that  night  with  those  Universalist  breth- 
ren, and  thus  we  parted.  Elder  Edwards  went  to  spend  the 
night  with  the  class-leader,  and  attended  the  meeting  with  the 
friends  who  had  invited  him  home  with  them.  I  had  a  good 
time.  Of  their  own  accord  they  made  up  a  collection  of  a  few 
dollars,  as  a  token  of  their  regard  for  me.  I  was  to  meet  Elder 
Edwards  at  the  house  of  my  friend,  who  took  us  in  at  midnight 
from  the  storm,  by  an  hour  by  sun,  to  start  on ;  but  he  did  not 
put  in  his  appearance  for  an  hour  or  more.  When  he  got  with- 
in talking  distance  I  saw  by  his  features  that  he  had  been  rough- 
ly dealt  with.  His  first  words  were,  "  That  is  the  wickedest  old 
man  that  I  ever  met  with,  and  if  he  don't  repent  God  will  curse 
him."  That  was  enough,  and  I  began  to  laugh.  I  conceived 


what  he  had  to  encounter  the  long  night  before.  He  said,  "  If 
the  Lord  will  forgive  me  for  going  this  time  I  will  never  go- 
again,  without  you  are  along."  I  said  to  him,  "Frank,  experi- 
ence teaches  a  dear  school,  yet  fools  will  not  learn  at  any  other. 
I  knew  what  treatment  you  would  receive,  and  refused  to  go  with 
him.  If  you  had  been  a  wise  man  you  would  have  taken  the 
hint  and  kept  .away  from  him." 

We  made  our  way  through  to  Overton  County,  Tennessee- 
Here  I  advised  my  friend  Edwards  to  return  back  to  Nauvoo, 
and  gave  him  money  to  pay  his  fare  on  a  steamer,  as  he  was  cut 
out  for  anything  but  a  preacher. 

At  Carlisle,  the  county  seat  of  Overton  County,  I  met  with  a- 
young  man,  an  elder,  by  the  name  of  Dwight  Webster.  Though 
but  little  experienced,  he  was  a  man  of  steady  habits  and  an 
agreeable  companion.  We  held  a  number  of  meetings  together 
in  this  part  of  the  country.  Webster  and  Moses  had  been  com- 
panions together,  and  met  with  much  opposition.  Webster  and 
I  baptized  several  persons,  and  made  a  true  friend  of  a  wealthy 
merchant,  named  Armstrong,  who  welcomed  us  to  his  house  and 
placed  us  under  his  protection.  He  also  owned  a  large  estab- 
lishment in  Louisville,  Kentucky.  He  was  an  infidel,  though  an 
honorable  and  high-minded  gentleman.  His  wife  Nancy,  and  her 
sister  Sarah,  were  both  baptized. 

While  here  I  received  a  letter  from  James  Pace,  one  of  my 
near  neighbors  in  Nauvoo,  requesting  me  to  visit  his  brother, 
William  Pace,  and  his  relatives  in  Rutherford  County,  Tenn. 
Elder  A.  O.  Smoot  and  Dr.  David  Lewis  succeeded  us  in  this 
county  and  in  Jackson  County,  Tenn.,  and  added  many  to 
those  whom  we  had  already  baptized.  We  made  our  way 
through  to  Stone  River,  preaching  by  the  way,  as  opportunity 
occurred.  Here  I  handed  my  letter  of  introduction  to  William 
Pace,  brother  of  my  neighbor  James  Pace,  who  received  us  very 
kindly  and  procured  us  the  liberty  of  holding  forth  in  the  Camp- 
bellite  Chapel.  Here  we  were  informed  that  the  Campbellite 
preachers  were  heavy  on  debate,  that  none  of  the  other  sects 
could  stand  before  them,  and  that  they  dare  not  meet  them  in 
public  or  private  discussion.  I  replied  that  my  trust  was  in  God, 
that  the  message  I  had  to  bear  was  from  Heaven — that  if  it 
would  not  bear  the  scrutiny  of  man  I  did  not  want  to  stand  by  it, 
but  if  it  was  of  God,  He  would  not  suffer  His  servants  to  be  con- 
founded, if  they  were  only  honorable  and  trusted  in  him. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  117 

Truth  is  mighty  and  will  prevail ;  Error  cannot  stand  before 
Truth.  If  these  men  can  overthrow  the  gospel  which  I  preach, 
the  sooner  they  do  it  the  better  for  me.  I  do  not  wish  to  de- 
ceive any  one,  or  to  deceive  myself.  If  any  one  can  point  out 
an  error  in  the  gospel  which  I  preach,  I  am  willing  to  drop  that 
error,  and  exchange  it  for  truth. 

The  hour  came,  we  both  spoke.  We  spoke  on  the  first  prin- 
ciples of  the  gospel  of  Christ,  as  taught  by  the  Saviour  and  his 
apostles.  Before  sitting  down  I  extended  the  courtesy  to  any 
gentleman  that  wished,  to  reply  or  offer  any  remarks  either  for 
or  against  what  we  had  set  forth.  Parson  Hall,  the  presiding 
Campbellite  minister,  was  on  his  feet  in  a  moment  and  denounced 
us  as  impostors.  He  said  we  were  holding  forth  a  theory  that 
was  fulfilled  in  Christ ;  that  the  canon  of  Scripture  being  full, 
these  spiritual  gifts  that  were  spoken  of  in  the  New  Testament 
were  done  away  with,  being  no  longer  necessary ;  that  as  for  the 
"Golden  Bible"  (Book  of  Mormon),  that  was  absurd  in  the 
extreme,  as  there  were  to  be  no  other  books  or  revelations 
granted.  He  quoted  the  revelations  of  St.  John  in  his  support, 
where  it  reads,  "He  that  addeth  to,  or  diminisheth  from  the 
words  of  the  prophecies  and  this  Book,  shall  have  the  plagues 
herein  written  added  to  his  torment,"  or  words  to  that  effect. 
I  followed  him  in  the  discussion,  and  quoted  John  where  it 
reads,  "He  that  speaketh  not  according  to  the  law  and  the  tes- 
timony hath  no  light  in  him."  I  said  that  my  authority  and 
testimony  were  from  the  Bible,  the  book  of  the  law  of  the  Lord, 
which  all  Christian  believers  hold  as  a  sacred  rule  of  their  faith 
and  practice.  To  that  authority  I  hoped  my  worthy  friend 
would  not  object.  I  illustrated  my  position  by  further  quota- 
tions from  the  Scriptures,  and  when  our  meeting  was  over  the 
people  flocked  around  us  in  a  mass,  to  shake  hands  with  us  and 
invite  us  to  their  houses — the  Methodists,  Baptists  and  Presby- 
terians especially.  The  planters  in  this  county  were  mostly 
wealthy,  and  prided  themselves  on  being  hospitable  and  kind  to 
strangers,  especially  to  ministers  of  the  gospel.  We  went  from 
house  to  house  and  preached  from  two  to  three  times  a  week. 
We  saw  that  the  seed  had  already  been  sown  in  honest  hearts 
and  we  were  near  to  them.  Knowing  the  danger  of  being 
lifted  up  by  self-approbation,  I  determined  to  be  on  my 
guard,  to  attend  to  secret  prayer,  and  reading  and  keeping 


diaries.  When  at  our  friend  Pace's  house  we  would  fre- 
quently resort  to  a  lonely  grove  to  attend  to  prayer  and 
read  to  ourselves. 



A  SHORT  time  after  the  events  narrated  in  the  preceding 
chapter,  it  was  arranged  that  Parson  Hall  and  myself 
should  hold  another  discussion  at  the  Campbellite  Chapel.  Par- 
son Hall  did  not  want  to  meet  me  in  the  discussion,  but  he  had 
to  do  so  or  lose  his  flock,  as  all  the  people  had  become  interest- 
ed in  the  subject  of  Mormonism. 

We  met  at  the  appointed  time,  and  chose  two  umpires  to  act  as 
moderators  of  the  meeting.  The  subject  to  be  discussed  was : 
"Are  apostles,  prophets,  teachers,  etc.,  together  with  the 
spiritual  gifts  spoken  of,  as  recorded  by  the  Apostle  Mark  in  his 
16th  chapter,  necessary  to  be  in  the  Church  now  as  they  were 
then?"  I  took  the  affirmative,  the  Parson  the  negative  ;  the  dis- 
cussion lasted  six  hours.  In  his  closing  speech  Parson  Hall  became 
very  abusive  and  denounced  the  Mormons  to  the  lowest  regions 
of  darkness,  and  the  Prophet,  Joseph  Smith,  as  a  vile  impostor, 
I  replied  to  him  and  closed  the  discussion.  It  was  agreed  that 
the  Old  and  New  Testaments  should  be  the  only  authorities  to 
be  quoted  by  us.  The  umpires  refused  to  decide  who  had  the 
best  of  the  discussion.  They  said  it  rested  with  the  people  to 
decide  for  themselves.  It  was  evident,  however,  that  the  people 
were  with  me.  The  principal  topic  of  conversation  was  about 
this  strange  Mormon  doctrine. 

Parson  Hall's  flock  was  by  no  means  satisfied  with  his  course^ 
He  said  this  Mormon  doctrine  was  the  strongest  Bible  doctrine 
he  ever  heard  of,  and  he  feared  the  consequences  of  a  further 
discussion  of  it.  But  this  would  not  satisfy  the  people,  who 
wanted  to  hear  and  learn  more  of  it ;  so  another  discussion  was 
agreed  upon,  in  which  Parsons  Curlee  and  Nichols  were  to  as- 
sist Parson  Hall,  and  prompt  him. 


The  subject  was,  "Is  the  Book  of  Mormon  of  Divine  origin, 
and  has  it  come  forth  in  direct  fulfillment  of  prophecy? 
And  was  Joseph  Smith  inspired  of  God?"  I  had  the 
affirmative.  We  selected  three  judges ;  the  hall  was  thronged. 
I  felt  the  responsibility  of  my  situation,  but  I  put  my  trust  in 
God  to  give  me  light  and  utterance  to  the  convincing  of  the 
honest  and  pure  in  heart.  The  discussion  lasted  many  hours.  I 
showed  conclusively,  both  from  the  Old  and  New  Testaments, 
that,  in  accordance  with  scripture  and  prophecy,  the  ten  tribes 
of  Israel  had  been  broken  up  and  scattered  upon  the  face  of  the 
earth.  That  sure  and  indisputable  evidence  had  been  found 
and  produced,  by  which  it  was  certain  that  the  tribes  of  North 
American  Indians  were  descendants  from  the  ten  tribes  of  Israel. 
I  showed  that  from  many  customs  and  rites,  prevalent  among 
the  Indians,  that  there  could  be  no  doubt,  in  any  rational  mind, 
but  that  these  tribes  had  sprung  from  the  remnants  of  the  scat- 
tered ten  tribes  of  Israel.  The  prophecies  of  the  Old  and  New 
Testaments,  the  traditions  and  history  of  the  Indians,  so  far  as 
known,  their  solemn  religious  rites  and  observances,  were  con- 
clusive evidence  of  this  fact.  And  God  has  repeatedly  prom- 
ised that,  in  His  own  good  time,  these  tribes  of  Israel,  this  cho- 
sen people,  should  be  again  gathered  together,  that  a  new  and 
further  revelation  should  be  given  them,  and  to  the  whole  world, 
and  that  under  this  new  dispensation  Zion  should  be  rebuilt, 
and  the  glory  of  God  should  fill  the  whole  earth,  as  the  waters 
cover  the  mighty  deep. 

It  should  be  as  a  sealed  book  unto  them,  which  men  deliver  to 
one  that  is  learned,  saying,  "  Read  this  book,"  and  he  saith,  "I 
cannot,  for  it  is  a  sealed  book."  It  is  strange  that  a  people, 
once  so  favored  of  God,  strengthened  by  His  arm  and  counseled 
by  his  prophets  and  inspired  men,  should  have  so  far  wandered 
and  become  so  lost  to  all  sense  of  duty  to  God!  But  so  it  was, 
until,  as  the  prophet  says,  the  Book  that  should  come  unto 
them,  should  speak  to  them  out  of  the  ground — out  of  the  dust 
of  the  earth;  as  a  "familiar  spirit,  even  out  of  the  dust  of  the 
earth."  The  Book  that  was  to  contain  the  divine  revelation  of 
God  was  to  come  forth,  written  upon  plates,  in  a  language  un- 
known to  men." 

But  a  man  unlearned,  not  by  his  own  power,  but  by  the  pow- 
er of  God,  by  means  of  the  Urim  and  Thummim,  was  to  trans- 
late it  into  our  language.  And  this  record,  in  due  time,  came 


according  to  God's  will.  It  was  found  deposited  in  the  side  of 
a  mountain,  or  hill,  called  Cumorrah,  written  in  the  reformed 
Egyptian  language,  in  Ontario  County,  in  the  State  of  New 
York.  It  was  deposited  in  a  stone  box,  put  together  with 
cement,  air  tight.  The  soil  about  the  box  was  worn  away,  until 
a  corner  of  the  box  was  visible.  It  was  found  by  Joseph  Smith, 
then  an  illiterate  lad,  or  young  man,  who  had  been  chosen  of 
God  as  His  instrument  for  making  the  same  known  to  men. 

Joseph  Smith  was  a  young  man  of  moral  character,  belonging 
to  no  sect,  but  an  earnest  enquirer  after  truth.  He  was  not 
permitted  to  remove  the  box  for  a  period  of  two  years  after  he 
found  it.  The  angel  of  God  that  had  the  records  in  charge, 
would  not  permit  him  to  touch  them.  In  attempting  to  do  so, 
on  one  occasion,  his  strength  was  paralyzed,  and  the  angel  ap- 
peared before  him  and  told  him  that  that  record  contained  the 
gospel  of  God,  and  an  historical  account  of  the  God  of  Joseph 
on  this  land ;  that  through  their  transgressions  the  records  were 
taken  away  from  them,  and  hid  in  the  earth,  to  come  forth  at 
the  appointed  time,  when  the  Lord  should  set  His  heart,  the 
second  time,  to  recover  the  remnant  of  His  people,  scattered 
through  all  nations ;  that  the  remnant  of  His  people  should  be 
united  with  the  stick  of  Judah,  iii  the  hands  of  Ephraim,  and 
they  should  become  one  stick  in  the  hands  of  the  Lord.  This 
is  the  Bible,  which  is  the  stick  of  Judah,  that  contained  the 
gospel  and  the  records  of  the  House  of  Israel,  till  the  Messiah 
came.  The  angel  further  informed  him  that  when  the  Ten 
Tribes  of  Israel  were  scattered,  one  branch  went  to  the  north ; 
that  prior  to  the  birth  of  Jesus  Christ  the  other  branch  left  Jeru- 
salem, taking  the  records  with  them,  of  which  the  Book  of 
Mormon  is  a  part.  The  branch  of  the  Ten  Tribes  which  went 
north  doubtless  have  a  record  also  with  them. 

When  these  plates,  containing  the  Book  of  Mormon  and  God's 
will,  as  therein  revealed,  were  removed  from  Ontario  County, 
New  York,  they  were  taken  to  Professor  Anthon,  of  New  York 
City,  for  translation.  He  replied  that  he  could  not  translate 
them,  that  they  were  written  in  "  a  sealed  language,  unknown 
to  the  present  age."  This  was  just  as  the  prophet  Isaiah  said  it 
should  be. 

Do  any  of  the  present  denominations  counsel  with  the.  Lord  ? 
No,  they  deny  revelation,  and  seek  to  hi4e  their  ways  from  Him. 
Upon  all  such  He  pronounces  woe. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  121 

I  do  not  wish  to  be  considered  as  casting  aspersions  on  any 
other  sect.  It  is  not  my  purpose  to  do  so.  Tue  love  that  I 
have  for  truth,  and  the  salvation  of  the  human  family,  may  cause 
me  to  offend,  but  if  I  do  so  it  is  because  of  my  exceeding  zeal 
to  do  good.  Remember  that  the  reproof  of  a  friend  is  better 
than  the  smite  of  an  enemy.  Jesus  said,  "Woe  unto  you  that 
are  angry  and  offended  because  of  the  truth."  It  is  not  pol- 
icy on  your  part  to  be  offended  on  account  of  the  truth.  If  your 
systems  will  not  stand  the  scrutiny  of  men,  how  can  they  stand 
the  test  of  the  great  Judge  of  both  the  living  and  the  dead?  I 
place  a  greater  value  upon  the  salvation  of  my  soul  than  I  do 
upon  all  earthly  considerations. 

After  my  second  discussion  I  began  to  baptize  some  of  the 
leading  members  of  the  Campbellite  Church.  Among  the  first 
to  be  baptized  were  John  Thompson  and  wife.  Thompson  was 
sheriff  of  Rutherford  County,  and  was  an  influential  man'. 
Among  others  who  were  baptized  were  Wm.  Pace  and  wife. 
Mrs.  Pace  was  a  sister  of  Parson  Nichols,  who  assisted  Parson 
Hall  in  his  last  discussion  with  me.  Major  D.  M.  Jarratt  and 
wife,  Mrs.  Caroline  Ghiliam,  Major  Miles  Anderson,  and  others, 
were  also  baptized  and  received  into  the  Church.  My  friend 
Webster,  after  being  with  me  about  a  month,  returned  to  visit 
and  strengthen  the  branches  of  the  Church  established  in  Smith, 
Jackson  and  Overton  Counties.  I  continued  my  labors  here  on 
Stone  River  and  Creple  Creek  about  six  months.  During  the 
most  of  this  time  I  availed  myself  of  the  opportunity  of  study- 
ing grammar  and  other  English  branches.  During  my  stay  I 
lectured  three  times  a  week,  on  Wednesdays,  Saturdays  and 
Sunday  afternoon.  Sabbath  forenoon  I  attended  the  meetings 
of  other  denominations.  During  this  time  I  held  four  public 
discussions,  in  addition  to  those  I  had  held  with  Parson  Hall. 
I  held  two  discussions  with  the  Rev.  James  Trott,  who  had  for 
fifteen  years  been  a  missionary  to  the  Cherokee  Nation. 

I  held  a  closing  debate  in  that  settlement  with  the  Rev.  Mr. 
Cantrall,  of  the  Campbellite  faith.  He  came  from  a  distance,  at 
the  request  of  friends,  to  endeavor  to  save  the  flock.  After 
consultation  with  Parson  Hall,  and  other  members  of  the  flock, 
they  refused  to  submit  to  moderators  or  judges,  neither  were 
they  willing  to  be  confined  to  the  Old  and  New  Testaments 
for  authority  to  disprove  the  doctrine  that  I  defended.  Their 
proposition  was  that  Mr.  Cantrall  should  speak  first,  bringing 


any  argument  he  chose  ;  when  he  had  finished  I  was  to  conclude 
the  debate,  and  the  people  were  to  judge  for  themselves  who 
had  the  best  of  the  argument.  My  friends  would  not  consent 
to  this  arrangement,  but  I  told  them  tlat  they  could  have  it 
their  own  way,  that  if  the  Rev.  Cantrall  wished  to  condescend 
to  the  platform  of  a  blackguard,  that  in  case  of  necessity  I 
might  meet  him  there,  though  I  would  prefer  an  honorable  de- 
bate to  slander  and  ridicule.  This  statement  I  made  to  the  as- 
sembly prior  to  the  Rev.  gentleman's  mounting  the  stand,  with. 
Parsons  Hall,  Curlee,  Trott  and  Nichols  as  prompters. 

They  had  provided  themselves  with  a  roll  of  pamphlets  and 
newspapers,  containing  many  of  the  low,  dirty,  musty,  cunning, 
lying  stories  about  Joe  Smith's  walking  on  the  water,  being  a 
money  digger,  an  impostor  and  a  thousand  such  stories.  Mr. 
Cantrall  read  and  emphasized  each  story,  as  his  prompter* 
handed  them  to  him.  He  occupied  about  two  hours  and  a  half 
in  this  manner,  and  about  half  an  hour  in  trying  to  point  out 
discrepancies  in  the  Book  of  Mormon.  He  spoke  of  the  ab- 
surdities of  the  boat  that  the  Nephites  built  to  cross  the  ocean 
in,  from  Asia  to  America.  That  it  was  built  tight,  excepting  a 
little  hole  on  top,  for  air,  and  that  it  would  shoot  through  the 
water  like  a  fish,  and  ridiculed  such  an  absurdity.  He  defied 
me  to  produce  any  such  inconsistencies  in  the  Holy  Bible.  He 
said  the  Bible  was  a  book  of  common  sense,  written  by  men  in- 
spired of  God.  It  was  full  of  good  works,  and  only  pure  char- 
acters, and  nothing  like  the  impostor  Joe  Smith.  He  challenged 
me  again  to  point  out  a  single  instance  in  the  Bible  which  would 
compare  with  the  stories  in  the  Book  of  Mormon.  The  idea  of 
apostles  and  prophets  and  supernatural  gifts  in  the  Church,  as 
it  was  in  the  days  of  Christ,  was  absurd.  That  the  History  of 
Nephi  was  absurd  and  a  burlesque  upon  common  sense. 
That  he  hoped  none  of  -the  people  would  be  led  away  by  such 
nonsense  and  folly.  I  sat  facing  him  during  all  his  long  har- 
angue of  abuse  and  ridicule.  When  it  came  my  turn  to 
speak,  I  asked  the  reverend  gentleman  to  occupy  my  seat,  that 
I  did  not  want  more  than  thirty  minutes  to  reply.  I  said  to  the 
assembly  that  a  sense  of  duty  to  the  truth,  and  to  the  cause  I 
had  espoused,  alone  prompted  me  to  make  any  reply  to  the  long 
tirade  of  abuse  and  sarcasm  they  had  been  listening  to.  The 
gentleman  and  his  prompters  had  gathered  quite  an  angry-look- 
ing cloud  of  pamphlets  and  newspaper  slang  and  abuse,  which 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  123 

culminated  in  a  tornado  of  bolts  of  thunder,  tapering  off  with 
wind,  blixeu  and  chinck-a-pin  bushes,  without  quoting  a  single 
passage  of  scripture  to  disprove  my  position,  or  in  support  of 
their  own.  But  on  the  contrary,  he  had  become  an  accuser  of 
the  brethren,  speaking  evil  of  things  he  knew  not.  The  spirit  of 
persecution,  hatred  and  malice  is  not  the  spirit  of  the  meek  and 
lowly  Saviour.  The  gentleman  tells  you  that  the  day  of  perfec- 
tion has  arrived,  that  Satan  is  bound  in  the  gospel  chain,  that  we 
have  no  need  of  spiritual  manifestations,  that  this  is  the  reign  of 
Christ.  Now,  I  will  say  if  this  is  the  millennial  reign  of  Christ, 
and  the  devil  is  bound  in  the  gospel  chain,  I  pity  the  inhabitants 
of  the  earth  when  he  gets  loose  again.  After  reading  the  de- 
scription of  the  millennial  reign,  as  it  shall  be,  as  described  by 
the  prophet  Isaiah,  can  any  one  be  so  stupid  as  to  believe  that 
we  are  now  living  in  that  eventful  day?  Shame  on  a  man  who 
would  deceive  and  tamper  with  the  souls  of  men !  The  gentle- 
man who  has  told  you  this  don't  believe  it. 

The  gentleman  has  challenged  me  to  produce  anything  from 
the  Bible  equaling  in  strangeness  the  building  of  a  boat  like  a 
fish,  in  whick  the  Nephites  crossed  the  ocean  from  Asia  to 
America.  I  call  his  attention  to  the  first  chapter  of  the  Book  of 
Jonah.  Here  a  very  strange  craft  was  used  for  three  days  and 
nights,  in  which  to  send  a  missionary,  to  Nineveh.  This  craft 
was  constructed  after  the  manner  of  the  boat  spoken  of  in  the 
Book  of  Mormon.  If  the  prophet  was  correct  in  the  description 
of  his  craft,  he  too  scooted  through  the  water  in  the  same  way 
that  the  Nephites  did  in  their  boat.  The  Book  of  Mormon  is 
nothing  more  or  less  than  a  book  containing  the  history  of  a  por- 
tion of  the  House  of  Israel,  who  left  Jerusalem  about  the  time  of 
the  reign  of  Zedekiah,  King  of  Judah,  and  crossed  the  ocean  to 
America;  containing  also  the  gospel  which  was  preached  to 
them  on  this  continent,  which  is  the  same  gospel  as  that  preach- 
ed by  Christ  and  his  Apostles  at  Jerusalem.  The  Bible  and  the 
Book  of  Mormon  both  contain  a  history  of  the  different  branches 
of  the  House  of  Israel,  and  each  contains  the  gospel  of  Christ  as 
it  was  preached  unto  them,  the  different  branches  of  the  house 
of  Israel,  and  to  all  nations.  Both  testify  of  each  other,  and 
point  with  exactness  to  the  dispensation  of  the  fullness  of  time. 
The  Book  of  Mormon  does  not  contain  a  new  gospel ;  it  is  the 
same  gospel  as  that  preached  by  Christ.  That  it  is  a  m}Tsterious 
book,  is  just  what  the  prophet  said  it  should  be,  "a  marvelous 


work,  a  wonder."  But  my  friend  says  that  it  is  too  mysterious, 
too  wonderful  for  human  credence,  and  challenges  me  to  point 
out  anything  told  in  the  Bible  that  seems  inconsistent  with  rea- 
son or  our  experience.  Now,  which  is  the  most  reasonable, 
that  Nephi  built  a  boat  after  the  pattern  mentioned  in  the  Mor- 
mon Bible,  directed  by  God  how  to  build  it,  and  crossed  the 
•ocean  to  this  continent,  or  that  Jonah  was  in  the  whale's  belly 
for  three  days  and  three  nights,  and  then  made  a  safe  landing? 
Or  would  it  sound  any  better  if  Nephi  had  said  that  when  he  and 
his  company  came  to  the  great  waters,  that  the  Lord  had  pre- 
pared great  whales,  two  or  more,  to  receive  them  and  their  out- 
fit, and  set  them  over  on  this  side  by  that  means  ?  Nothing  is 
impossible  with  God.  If  He  saw  fit  to  send  Jonah  on  his  mission 
in  a  whale's  belly,  I  have  no  fault  to  find  with  Him  for  so  doing. 
He  has  the  right  to  do  His  own  will  and  pleasure ;  and  if  he  in- 
structed Nephi  how  to  fashion  his  boat,  or  Noah  to  build  an  ark 
against  the  deluge ;  or  to  cause  Baalam's  ass  to  speak  and  rebuke 
the  madness  of  his  master;  or  caused  Moses  to  lead  the  children 
of  Israel  through  the  Red  Sea,  without  any  boat  at  all ;  or  caused 
the  walls  of  Jericho  to  fall  to  the  ground,  and  the  people  to  be- 
come paralyzed  through  the  tooting  of  rains'  horns ;  or  empower- 
ed Joshua  to  cause  the  sun  to  stand  still  while  he  slaughtered  his 
enemies ;  is  any  one  of  these  things  more  wonderful  than  the 
other?  Now  any  one  of  these  instances  that  I  have  selected 
from  the  Bible,  if  found  in  the  Book  of  Mormon,  would  be  suf- 
ficient to  stamp  it  with  absurdity  and  everlasting  contempt,  ac- 
cording to  argument  of  the  gentlemen  who  oppose  me ;  but 
when  found  in  the  Bible  the  story  assumes  another  phase  entire- 
ly. It  is  as  the  Saviour  said  of  the  Pharisees,  "Ye  strain  at  a 
gnat  and  swallow  a  camel."  My  opponent  strains  at  a  gnat, 
when  found  in  the  Book  of  Mormon,  but  if  camels  are  found  in 
the  Bible  he  could  swallow  them  by  the  herd.  I  cannot  see 
why  a  big  story,  told  in  the  Bible,  should  be  believed  any  more 
readily  than  if  found  in  the  Book  of  Mormon.  It  is  not  my  pur- 
pose to  find  discrepancies  in  the  characters  of  the  ancient  proph- 
ets or  inspired  writers,  but  my  opponent  has  challenged  me 
to  produce  from  the  Bible  a  character  of  such  disrepute  as  that 
of  Joe  Smith,  the  Mormon  Prophet.  Now  I  will  say  that  of  the 
characters  that  I  shall  mention,  we  have  only  their  own  history 
or  account  of  what  they  did.  Their  enemies  and  cotemporaries 
liave  long  since  passed  away.  But  if  their  enemies  could  speak 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  125 

worse  of  them  than  they  have  of  themselves,  decency  would 
blush  to  read  their  history.  I  will  refer  to  only  a  few  instances. 
Moses,  the  meek,  as  he  is  called,  murdered  an  Egyptian  that 
strove  with  an  Israelite,  and  had  to  run  away  from  his  country 
for  the  offence.  He  was  afterwards  sent  by  God  to  bring  the 
Israelites  out  of  bondage. 

Noah  was  a  preacher  of  righteousness.  He  built  the  ark,  and 
was  saved  through  the  deluge.  His  name  has  been  handed  down 
from  posterity  to  posterity,  in  honorable  remembrance,  as  one 
who  feared  God  and  worked  righteousness.  But  we  find  him 
soon  after  the  flood  getting  drunk,  exposing  his  nakedness,  and 
cursing  a  portion  of  his  own  posterity.  Lot,  whose  family  was 
the  only  God-fearing  family  in  Sodom  and  Gomorrah,  res- 
cued by  the  angel  of  God  from  the  judgments  that  over- 
whelmed those  cities,  when  only  a  short  distance  from  Sodom 
became  drunk  and  debauched  his  daughters. 

Think  of  the  conduct  of  David  with  Uriah's  wife,  and  David 
was,  we  are  told,  a  man  after  God's  own  heart.  Also  Judah, 
Judge  in  Israel.  Peter  cursed  and  swore  and  denied  his  Mas- 
ter. The  enemies  of  Christ  said  he  was  a  gluttonous  man  and  a 
wine  bibber ;  a  friend  of  publicans  and  sinners ;  that  after  the 
people  at  the  marriage  feast  were  well  drunken,  that  he  turned 
water  into  wine  that  they  might  have  more  to  drink ;  that  in  the 
corn  fields  he  plucked  the  ears  of  corn  and  ate  them  ;  that  he  saw 
an  ass  hitched,  and  without  leave  he  took  it  and  rode  into  Jeru- 
salem ;  that  he  went  into  the  Temple  and  overset  the  tables  of 
the  money  changers  and  took  cords  and  whaled  them  out,  tell- 
ing them  they  had  made  his  Father's  house  a  den  of  thieves.  I 
am  aware  that  all  Christians  justify  the  acts  of  Christ,  because 
he  was  the  Son  of  God.  But  the  people  at  that  time  did  not 
believe  him  to  be  the  Son  of  God,  any  more  than  the  gentleman 
does  that  Joseph  Smith  was  the  Prophet  of  God.  I  have  alluded 
to  these  instances  merely  in  refutation  of  the  challenge  imposed 
upon  me  by  my  opponent. 

But  few  seem  to  comprehend  that  man,  in  and  of  himself,  is 
frail,  weak,  needy  and  dependent,  although  the  Creator  placed 
within  his  reach,  as  a  free  agent,  good  and  evil,  and  has  placed 
in  the  heart  of  every  rational  being  a  degree  of  light  that  makes 
us  sensitive  and  teaches  us  right  from  wrong.  As  the -Saviour 
says,  "  There  is  a  light  that  lighteth  every  man  that  cometh  into 
the  world." 


I  have  been  obliged  to  abbreviate  my  argument  very  much, 
lest  I  tire  my  readers.  I  had  scarcely  closed  speaking  before 
my  Reverend  opponents  were  making  for  the  door.  They  would 
have  nothing  more  to  do  with  the  Mormon.  Some  were  honest 
enough  to  acknowledge  that  Mormonism,  as  it  was  called,  would 
stand  the  test ;  that  it  could  not  be  disproved  from  the  Bible, 
and  that  sooner  or  later  all  other  creeds  would  have  to  give  way 
to  it,  or  deny  the  Bible,  for  the  more  it  was  investigated  the 
more  popular  it  would  become,  as  it  would  expose  the  many 
weak  points  and  inconsistences  of  the  different  denominations. 
Others  denounced  it  as  an  imposition,  and  warned  their  adher- 
ents to  have  nothing  to  do  with  it.  This  kind  of  talk  from  the 
pulpit  only  served  to  give  Mormonism  a  new  impetus.  I  soon 
baptized  many  converts,  and  organized  branches  in  that  and  ad- 
joining counties  of  over  one  hundred  members. 



A  SHORT  time  after  holding  the  discussion  mentioned  in  the 
preceding  chapter,  Dr.  A.  Young,  of  Jackson  County, 
Tenn.,  came  to  me  and  wished  me  to  go  with  him,  and  join  in  a 
discussion  with  a  couple  of  Campbellite  preachers.  At  first  I 
d  clined,  as  the  distance  was  nearly  one  hundred  miles,  and  my 
labors  in  the  ministry  where  I  then  was  were  pressing.  I  had 
more  calls  to  preach  than  I  could  fill. 

Dr.  A.  Young  was  made  a  bishop,  and  A.  O.  Smoot,  a  con- 
vert, was  made  an  elder  in  the  Church. 

I  finally  consented  to  go  and  attend  the  discussion.  On  our 
arrival  at  the  place  agreed  upon,  I  learned  that  all  necessary  ar- 
rangements had  been  made.  The  subject  was,  "Is  the  Book  of 
Mormon  of  Divine  authenticity,  and  has  it  come  forth  in  direct 
fulfillment  of  prophecy,  found  in  the  Old  and  New  Testaments, 
and  is  Joseph  Smith  Divinely  inspired  and  called  of  God?  "  We 
had  the  affirmative.  There  was  a  large  concourse  of  people  as- 
sembled. The  discussion  lasted  two  days.  At  the  close  of  the 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE:  127 

•debate  the  judge  decided  that  the  Mormons  brought  forth  the 
strongest  reasonings  and  scriptural  arguments,  but  that  the 
other  side  had  the  best  of  the  Mormons  in  sarcasm  and  abuse. 

When  I  was  about  to  leave  Dr.  Young  exchanged  horses  with 
me,  he  keeping  my  pony,  and  giving  me  a  very  fine  blooded 
black  mare.  I  was  then  built  up,  so  far  as  a  good  out-fit  for 
traveling  was  concerned.  Dr.  Young  traveled  with  me  as  far  as 
Indian  Creek,  Putnam  Count}',  twenty-five  miles  south-east,  as 
report  said  that  a  couple  of  Mormons  had  been  "  raising  h — 1 " 
there,  to  use  their  own  words.  So  we  concluded  to  visit  the 
place  and  learn  the  facts.  This  was  about  the  first  of  March. 
It  was  on  Saturday  that  we  arrived  there.  We  rode  at  once  to 
the  Methodist  Chapel.  Here  we  found  several  hundred  people 
assembled — the  most  distressed  and  horrified  looking  worship- 
ers my  eyes  ever  beheld.  Their  countenances  and  actions 
evinced  an  inward  torture  of  agony.  Some  of  them  were  lying 
in  a  swoon,  apparently  lifeless;  others  were  barking  like  dogs; 
some  singing,  praying  and  speaking  in  tongues,  their  eyes  red 
and  distorted  with  excitement. 

The  chapel  was  situated  in  a  yard  surrounded  with  trees.  I 
was  so  overcome  with  amazement  and  surprise  that  I  had  forgot- 
ten that  I  was  on  horseback.  The  first  that  I  remember  was  that 
a  man  had  led  my  horse  inside  the  gate  and  was  putting  me  off, 
saying.  "Come,  get  down,  you  are  a  Mormon  preacher;  we  are 
having  fine  times."  I  objected,  but  walked  to  the  south  end  of 
the  chapel,  instead  of  going  inside.  A  chair  was  set  for  me  by 
some  rational  person,  and  I  leaned  my  head  upon  my  hands  and 
•commenced  praying.  I  was  a  stranger,  both  to  the  people  and 
to  their  religious  exercises.  I  was  puzzled,  not  knowing  what  to 
do  in  the  situation.  I  saw  a  young  woman,  about  eighteen  years 
of  age,  of  handsome  form  and  features,  in  her  stocking  feet,  her 
handsome  black  hair  hanging  down  over  her  shoulders  in  a  con- 
fused mass.  She  was  preaching  what  she  called  Mormonisin, 
and  warning  the  multitude  to  repent  and  be  baptized,  and  escape 
the  wrath  of  God.  In  front  of  her  stood  a  young  Methodist 
minister,  to  whom  she  directed  her  remarks.  He  smiled  at  her. 
All  of  a  sudden  she  changed  her  tack,  and  belted  him  right  and 
left  for  making  light  of  what  she  said.  The  next  moment  she  con- 
fronted me,  and  said,  "You  are  a  preacher  of  the  true  Church, 
and  I  love  you!"  Thus  saying,  she  sprang  at  me  to  embrace 
me  with  open  arms.  I  stretched  forth  my  hand  and  rebuked  the 


evil  spirit  that  was  in  her,  and  commanded  it  to  depart  in  the 
name  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  by  virtue  of  the  holy  priesthood  in  me 
vested.  At  this  rebuke  she  quailed,  and  turned  away  from  me 
like  a  whipped  child,  and  left  the  crowd  and  went  home,  ashamed 
of  her  conduct. 

This  occurrence  gave  me  confidence  in  God,  and  in  Him  I  put 
my  trust  still  more  than  I  had  ever  done  before.  It  was  now 
about  sunset  and  we  had  had  no  refreshment  since  morning.  I 
arose  and  informed  the  multitude  that  we  would  preach  at  that 
place  on  the  morrow  at  ten  o'clock.  A  merchant  by  the  name 
of  Marshbanks  invited  .us  home  with  him,  some  of  the  leading 
men  accompanying  us.  They  informed  us  that  a  couple  of  men, 
brothers,  from  West  Tennessee,  named  William  and  Alfred 
Young,  formerly  members  of  the  Baptist  Church,  who  had  joined 
the  Mormons,  had  been  there  and  preached ;  that  they  enjoyed 
spiritual  gifts  as  the  apostles  anciently  did,  and  had  baptized  the 
people  into  that  faith,  and  had  ordained  John  Young,  Receiver 
of  the  Land  Office  there,  a  preacher ;  that  he  was  an  intelligent, 
well-educated  man,  but  was  now  a  fanatic,  and  many  of  their 
leading  men  were  ruined  and  business  prostrate,  and  all  through 
that  impostor,  Joe  Smith.  They  said  he  ought  to  be  hung  be- 
fore he  did  any  more  harm ;  that  their  settlement  was  being 
ruined  and  all  business  stopped  ;  that  if  any  one  would  give  John 
Young,  or  Mark  Young,  his  father,  who  was  formerly  a  Meth- 
odist class  leader,  their  hand,  or  let  them  breathe  in  their  face, 
he  could  not  resist  them,  but  would  come  under  the  same  influ- 
ence and  join  them.  I  told  them  that  I  had  been  a  member 
of  this  Church  for  a  number  of  years  and  had  never  seen  or 
heard  of  anything  of  this  kind. 

The  next  morning,  about  day  break,  those  two  fanatics  were 
at  Marshbanks'  house.  They  said  they  had  a  glorious  time 
through  the  night,  and  had  made  a  number  of  converts.  I  be- 
gan to  reason  with  them  from  the  scriptures,  but  as  soon  as  I 
came  in  contact  with  their  folly,  they  began  to  whistle  and  dance, 
and  jumped  on  to  their  horses  and  left. 

Sometime  after,  on  our  way  to  the  chapel,  my  friend  Marsh- 
banks  indulged  in  a  great  deal  of  abuse  of  Joe  Smith.  He 
told  me  that  I  could  not  be  heard  among  the  fanatics  at  the 
chapel,  and  that  I  had  better  return  to  his  house  and  hold  a 
meeting  there. 

I  said  to  him,  "In  the  name  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  I  will 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  129 

preach  there  to-day,  and  not  a  dog  will  raise  his  voice  against 
me,  and  you  shall  bear  witness  to  it."  He  replied,  "Very  well. 
I  will  go  with  you  and  try  and  keep  order."  As  we  entered  the 
chapel,  the  same  scene  of  confusion  prevailed  that  we  observed 
the  day  before.  Some  were  stretched  on  the  floor,  frothing  at 
the  mouth,  apparently  in  the  agonies  of  death.  Others  were 
prophesying,  talking  in  tongues,  singing,  shouting  and  praying. 
I  walked  into  the  pulpit  as  a  man  having  authority,  and  said, 
"  In  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  by  virtue  and  authority  of 
the  Holy  Priesthood  invested  in  me,  I  command  these  evil 
spirits  that  are  tormenting  you,  to  be  still,  while  I  lay  before 
you  the  words  of  life  and  salvation."  As  I  spoke  every  eye 
was  turned  upon  me  and  silence  reigned ;  the  evil  spirits  were 
subdued  and  made  powerless.  There  were  two  Presbyterian 
ministers  there  who  asked  leave  to  take  notes  of  my  sermon, 
which  I  freely  granted,  telling  them  further  that  they  were  at 
liberty  to  correct  me  if  in  anything  I  spoke  not  according  to 
the  Law  and  Testimony  of  Christ. 

I  preached  a  plain  sermon  on  the  first  principles  of  the  gos- 
pel of  Christ,  as  taught  by  the  apostles.  I  showed  to  them  that 
the  house  of  God  was  a  house  of  order,  and  not  confusion; 
that  the  Spirit  of  God  brings  peace,  joy,  light  and  complete 
harmony.  The  testimony  of  Jesus  is  the  spirit  of  prophecy, 
and  every  person  who  has  the  Spirit  of  Jesus  has  the  spirit  of 
prophecy,  and  should  and  would  do  the  will  of  Heaven ;  that 
one  may  have  a  gift  of  prophecy,  another  of  tongues,  another  of 
interpretation — but  let  one  speak  at  a  time  ;  that  this  fanaticism 
which  they  had  witnessed  during  the  last  few  days  was  not  to  be 
fathered  upon  Joseph  Smith  or  upon  the  Mormons ;  that  we  had 
no  affinity  for  such  a  religion,  and  that  we  discarded  it  as  from 
beneath  and  not  from  God.  Before  I  dismissed  the  meeting  I 
asked  my  Presbyterian  friends  if  they  wished  to  reply  to  me. 
They  said  they  did  not ;  that  they  were  much  pleased  with  my 
remarks,  and  that  they  were  scriptural  and  reasonable. 

I  then  concluded  to  return  to  the  Branch  at  Rutherford 
County,  and  continue  my  labors  there.  A  delegation  came  to 
me  from  the  Assembly  and  said,  "Mr.  Lee,  your  discourse  to- 
day has  turned  us  up  side  down.  You  have  convinced  many  of  us 
that  we  are  going  astray.  Do  not,  for  mercy's  sake,  leave  us  in 
this  situation.  We  are  persuaded  that  many  are  honest-hearted 
and  will  obey  the  truth."  I  replied,  "  My  mission  is  to  preach 


the  truth,  to  call  erring  children  of  men  to  repentance."  I  ap- 
pointed a  meeting,  and  preached  that  evening  at  the  house  of 
David  Young,  a  brother  of  Mark  Young,  the  Methodist  class- 
leader,  to  a  large  body  of  inquiring  minds.  The  following  day 
we  preached  at  the  side  of  a  clear  running  brook.  After  the 
preaching  many  demanded  to  be  baptized.  I  went  down  into 
the  water  and  baptized  twenty-eight  persons,  among  whom  were 
two  well  educated  young  men.  One  was  a  nephew  of  Gov. 
Carlin,  of  Illinois ;  the  other  was  F.  McCollough,  now  a  Bishop 
at  Alpine  City,  Utah. 

Most  of  the  leading  families  of  Putnam  County  were  convert- 
ed, and  I  organized  them  into  a  Branch,  and  remained  with  them 
about  ten  days,  teaching  and  instructing  them,  the  better  to  es- 
tablish them  upon  the  true  basis  of  order  and  equity,  and  to 
guard  them  against  those  fanatical  influences  that  had  been  ruin- 
ing the  people  of  this  neighborhood. 

Elder  Samuel  B.  Frost  had  been  laboring  in  DeKalb  County, 
East  Tennessee,  where  he  had  baptized  about  thirty  converts. 
As  he  passed  on  his  return  to  Nauvoo,  I  sent  for  him  to  tarry 
with  me  a  few  days,  and  assist  me,  as  Dr.  Young  had  returned 
home.  Such  of  the  people  who  had  been  under  the  power  of 
the  spirit  of  darkness  became  alarmed,  and  dared  not  trust 
themselves  away  from  us.  We  fasted  and  prayed  three  days 
and  three  nights,  pleading  with  the  Father,  in  the  name  of  the 
Son,  to  give  us  power  over  those  evil  spirits. 

And  here  I  will  say  that  up  to  the  time  of  my  witnessing  what 
I  have  here  narrated,  I  was  skeptical  on  the  subject  of  our  pow- 
«r  over  evil  spirits.  I  had  heard  of  such  manifestations,  but 
had  never  seen  them  with  my  own  eyes  before.  My  experience 
here  impressed  me  deeply,  that  we  could  attain  such  power,  and 
showed  ine  the  stern  necessity  of  living  near  to  God,  for  man,  in 
and  of  himself,  is  nothing  but  a  tool  for  the  tempter  to  play 

As  I  said,  the  people  durst  not  trust  themselves  away  from 
us.  One  time  we  were  in  a  large  room,  at  Mark  Young's  house. 
I  was  sitting  by  a  desk  writing  in  my  diary.  Adolphus  Young, 
the  chairman  of  the  delegation  which  had  waited  on  me  and 
requested  me  to  remain  with  them  and  set  them  right,  was  walk- 
ing too  and  fro  across  the  room.  As  he  came  near  me  I  noticed 
that  his  countenance  changed,  and  as  he  turned  from  me  he 
cast  a  fearful  glance  at  me.  I  kept  my  eyes  upon  him  as  he 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  131 

walked  away  from  me.  When  near  the  centre  of  the  room  he 
wilted  down  and  exclaimed,  "Oh!  God,  have  mercy  on  me." 
"Without  a  word  spoken,  Elder  Frost  and  myself  sprang  to  him. 
Laying  my  hands  upon  him  I  commanded  the  evil  spirits,  by 
virtue  of  the  Holy  Priesthood,  and  in  the  name  of  Jesus  Christ, 
to  come  out  of  him.  As  I  spoke  these  words  I  felt  as  if  a  thou- 
.sand  darts  had  penetrated  my  mouth,  throat  and  breast.  My 
blood  ran  cold  in  my  veins ;  my  pi  use  stopped  beating ;  in  a 
word,  I  was  terror-stricken.  I  saw  a  legion  of  evil  spirits  in  the 
vision  of  my  mind.  And  what  was  still  more,  they  had  fastened 
their  fangs  in  me  and  I  was  about  to  give  up  the  contest,  when 
another  influence  came  to  my  relief,  and  said  to  my  spirit: 
"  Why  yield  to  the  powers  of  darkness?  You  hold  the  keys  over 
those  evil  spirits.  They  should  be  subject  to  your  bidding  in 
the  name  of  Jesus,  through  faith."  This  last  comforting  influ- 
ence relieved  my  fears,  strengthened  my  faith,  and  gave  me 
power  to  overcome  the  evil  spirits.  I  was  not  more  than  a 
minute  or  two  in  this  situation,  but  during  that  time  I  endured 
more  agony,  torture,  and  pain  than  I  ever  did  in  the  same  time 
before  or  since. 

This  may  seem  to  be  a  fabulous  story  to  my  readers,  many  of 
whom  will,  no  doubt,  attribute  it  to  fanaticism ;  nevertheless  it 
is  true.  The  man  was  restored,  and  bore  record  of  the  power 
of  God  to  his  deliverance,  and  was  to  the  day  of  his  death  an 
honorable,  good  citizen. 

I  was  never  considered  a  long-faced  preacher.  During  my  stay 
here  I  added  to  this  branch  of  the  Church  until  it  was  more  than 
fifty  members  strong.  My  friend,  Elder  Frost,  agreed  to  wait  in 
Overton  County  until  I  could  re-visit  the  branch  in  Rutherford 
County,  and  set  things  in  order  there.  Then  I  was  to  accom- 
pany him  home  to  our  families  in  Nauvoo,  the  City  of  Joseph. 

I  ordained  William  Pace  to  the  office  of  the  lesser  priesthood, 
to  take  charge  of  the  Saints  there.  We  also  ordained  Adolphus 
Young  to  preside  over  the  branch  at  Indian  Creek,  Putnam 
County.  After  calling  on  Dr.  A.  Young,  I  joined  my  friend, 
Elder  Frost,  and  drove  to  Nauvoo  for  him  six  jacks  and  jennets 
to  exchange  for  land,  that  he  might  have  a  place  to  come  to. 
We  had  a  pleasant  journey  to  Nauvoo,  as  the  weather  was  fine. 
On  arriving  in  the  city  I  met  my  family,  all  in  good  health.  I 
traded  some  of  my  stock  with  Hyrum  Smith,  the  Prophet's 
brother,  for  land. 


It  was  now  June,  1842.  In  the  summer  and  fall  I  built  me  a 
snug,  two-story  brick  house  on  Warsaw  street,  and  made  my 
family  quite  comfortable.  I  enclosed  my  ground  and  fixed 
things  snug  and  nice.  I  then  took  a  tour  down  through  Illinois. 
H.  B.  Jacobs  accompanied  me  as  a  fellow  companion  on  the 
way.  Jacobs  was  bragging  about  his  wife  and  two  children, 
what  a  true,  virtuous,  lovely  woman  she  was.  He  almost  wor- 
shiped her.  But  little  did  he  think  that,  in  his  absence,  she 
was  sealed  to  the  Prophet  Joseph,  and  was  his  wife. 

We  raised  up  quite  a  branch  of  the  Church  in  Clinton  County. 
Among  others  whom  we  baptized,  were  the  Free  sisters,  Louisa 
and  Emeline ;  also  the  Nelsons.  Emeline  Free  was  afterward 
sealed  to  Brigham  Young,  and  her  sister  Louisa  to  myself. 
She  is  now  Daniel  H.  Wells'  first  wife. 

I  also  visited  my  relatives  in  Randolph  County,  the  home  of 
my  youthful  days.  Here  I  baptized  my  cousin  Eliza  Connersr 
with  whom  I  had  been  raised.  I  also  baptized  Esther  Hall,  the 
sister  of  my  old  friend  Samuel  Hall,  with  whom  I  lived  when  I 
was  first  married.  I  was  kindly  received  in  my  own  county. 

But  few,  however,  cared  to  investigate  the  principles  of  Mor- 
monism,  as  the  most  of  them  were  Catholics.  In  all  my  travels 
I  was  agent  for  our  paper,  the  Nauvoo  Neighbor,  and  collected 
means,  tithings  and  donations  for  the  building  of  the  Temple. 
From  here  I  returned  home  by  steamboat. 

Through  the  winter  Joseph  Smith  selected  forty  men  for  a 
city  guard,  from  the  old  tried  veterans  of  the  cause.  I  was  the 
seventh  man  chosen.  These  men  were  also  the  life-guard  of  the 
Prophet  and  Patriarch  and  of  the  twelve  Apostles.  My  station 
as  a  guard  was  at  the  Prophet's  mansion,  during  his  life,  and 
after  his  death  my  post  was  changed  to  the  residence  of  Brigham 
Young,  he  being  the  acknowledged  successor  of  the  Prophet. 
From  the  time  I  was  appointed  until  we  started  across  the  plains, 
when  at  home  I  stood  guard  every  night,  and  much  of  the  time 
on  the  road,  one-half  of  the  night  at  a  time,  in  rain,  hail,  snow, 
wind  and  cold,  to  nourish,  protect  and  guard,  and  give  strength 
to  the  man  that  has  proven  to  be  the  most  treacherous,  ungrateful 
villain  on  earth.  In  return  for  all  of  my  faithfulness  and  fidelity 
to  him  and  the  cause  that  he  taught,  he  has  wantonly  sacrificed 
me,  in  a  dastardly  and  treacherous  manner.  But  I  must  not  think 
or  reflect  too  much  upon  so  frail  a  being.  He  has  contracted 
the  debt  himself,  and  sooner  or  later  must  atone  for  his  own 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  133 

sins.  "Vengeance  is  mine,  saith  the  Lord,  and  I  will  repay." 
Such  a  base,  vile,  inhuman  wretch,  cannot  long  escape  justice. 
However,  I  intend  to  speak  more  fully  of  this  depraved  man  at 
the  proper  time  and  place  in  this  narrative. 



DURING  the  winter  of  1841,  a  letter  was  sent  to  the  Prophet 
from  the  leading  men  and  members  of  the  branch  church 
on  Stone  River,  Tennessee,  and  Cripple  Creek,  Rutherford 
County,  Tennessee,  desiring  him  to  send  me  back  to  labor  in 
that  country,  as  there  was  a  wide  field  for  preaching  there. 

They  stated  that  I  had  so  ingratiated  myself  among  the  people 
that  no  other  man  could  command  the  influence  and  re- 
spect to  do  good  that  I  could  among  them.  This  was  enough. 
In  the  latter  part  of  February  I  took  leave  of  my  family  and 
entered  upon  my  mission. 

To  refuse  to  comply  with  the  call  of  the  Prophet  is  a  bad 
omen.  A  man  so  doing  is  looked  upon  with  distrust,  renders 
himself  unpopular,  and  is  considered  a  man  not  to  be  depended 
upon.  At  the  time  I  started  the  river  was  blocked  with  ice. 
I  traveled  on  foot,  without  purse  or  scrip,  like  the  apostles  of 
-old,  carrying  out  the  motto  of  the  Church,  the  bee  of  the  desert, 
"  Leave  the  hive  empty-handed  and  return  laden."  In  this  way 
I,  as  well  as  many  other  elders,  brought  in  money,  thousands  of 
dollars,  yearly  to  the  Church,  and  I  might  say  many  hundreds 
of  thousands,  as  the  people  among  whom  I  traveled  were  mostly 
wealthy,  and  when  they  first  received  the  love  of  the  truth  their 
hearts  as  well  as  their  purses  were  opened,  and  they  would  pour 
out  their  treasures  into  the  lap  of  the  Bishop.  All  were  taught 
that  a  liberal  man  deviseth  liberal  things,  and  by  his  liberality 
shall  he  live,  and  that  he  that  soweth  liberally  shall  reap  bounti- 
fully, etc. 

As  I  passed  along  my  way,  I  strengthened  the  brethren  of  the 
various  branches,  reminding  them  of  their  duties,  especially  of 
the  necessity  of  building  the  Temple.  That  duty  was  more  im- 


portant  than  all  others,  for  in  that  alone,  when  completed,  they 
could  attain  to  the  highest  exaltation  of  the  Priesthood,  together 
•with  all  the  spiritual  gifts  that  belong  thereto.  When  I  arrived 
at  my  old  home,  the  place  of  my  childish  days,  I  found  Elder 
John  Twist,  who  was  waiting  my  arrival.  We  staid  in  that 
neighborhood  a  few  days,  and  then  started  on  again.  My  uncle 
was  going  on  our  way  with  a  wagon  for  about  one  hundred 
miles,  and  we  accompanied  him.  I  passed  through  Kaskaskia, 
where  I  was  born,  but  did  not  preach  there,  for  my  uncle  was  in 
a  hurry  to  reach  the  point  of  his  destination  in  Jackson  County, 
where  he  was  establishing  a  wood  yard  on  the  Mississippi  River. 
Here  we  intended  to  take  a  steamer  for  Nashville,  but  na 
steamer  would  take  us  on  board  at  the  landing,  for  it  was  a  bad 
one  to  bring  boats  up  to.  While  staying  at  that  place  we 
preached  to  the  people,  and  made  our  home  with  Mr.  V.  Hutche- 
son,  and  his  sister  Sarah,  where  we  were  treated  very  kindly. 
Finally  a  flat-boat  came  insight.  We  hailed  it  and  went  aboard. 
We  were  soon  on  good  terms  with  the  Captain  and  crew,  and 
went  with  them  to  Memphis,  Tennessee.  At  this  place  the 
Captain  of  the  flat-boat  sold  out  his  cargo,  and  then  offered  to 
pay  our  fare  on  a  steamer  from  Memphis  to  Nashville.  While 
we  were  in  Memphis,  General  William  Henry  Harrison,  then  a, 
candidate  for  President,  arrived,  and  a  great  political  meeting 
of  the  Whig  party  was  held  in  the  open  air.  After  my  friend 
Win.  Springer,  the  Captain  of  the  flat-boat,  had  sold  his  cargo 
and  received  his  money,  he  invited  my  friend  Twist  and  myself 
to  go  with  him  to  a  saloon.  There  were  quite  a  number  of  men 
in  the  saloon,  fiddling,  eating,  drinking  and  otherwise  enjoying 
themselves.  Captain  Springer  was  not  used  to  drinking.  He 
soon  got  mellow,  felt  rich,  and  commenced  throwing  his  money 
around  in  a  careless  manner.  The  saloon-keeper  was  a  man 
with  an  eye  to  business,  and  was  particularly  interested  in  friend 
Springer.  He  treated  him  often  and  insisted  on  his  drinking. 
I  tried  to  get  Springer  to  go  to  his  boat,  and  took  him  by  the 
arm  and  started  off  with  him,  when  one  of  the  crowd  told  me 
not  to  be  so  officious,  that  the  man  knew  his  own  business  and 
was  capable  of  attending  to  it.  I  said  nothing  to  him  in  reply, 
but  I  sent  Twist  in  haste  to  the  boat  for  the  crew  to  come  at 
once  before  Springer  was  robbed  of  his  money.  They  came,, 
but  not  any  too  soon  for  his  benefit,  as  a  row  had  commenced, 
with  the  design  of  going  through  him  while  it  was  going  on. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  135 

When  the  crew  came,  I  started  for  the  boat  with  Springer, 
the  crew  keeping  back  the  crowd  of  drunken  robbers.  By 
acting  in  this  way  we  saved  him  and  his  money  too.  Twist  and 
myself  refused  all  kinds  of  drinks  that  night.  We  were  there- 
fore sober  and  in  good  condition  to  protect  the  man  who  had 
favored  us  and  been  our  friend.  Next  morning  Springer  wished 
to  reward  us,  but  we  refused  to  let  him  do  so. 

I  told  him  we  had  done  nothing  but  our  duty.  We  parted 
with  him  and  his  crew,  and  took  passage  in  a  new  steamer  that 
was  owned  in  Nashville,  and  was  then  making  its  first  trip  from 
Nashville  to  New  Orleans.  The  boat  got  into  a  race  with  the 
Eclyp*se,  another  fine  boat.  The  Captain  was  a  fine  man.  The 
crew  were  all  negroes.  One  of  the  firemen  on  our  boat  took 
sick,  and  was  unable  to  do  his  work.  I  saw  that  the  Eclypse 
was  crowding  us  closely.  I  threw  off  my  coat  and  took  the  ne- 
gro's place  as  fireman.  I  saw  a  barrel  of  resin  near  by;  I 
broke  the  head  in  with  an  ax  and  piled  the  resin  in  the  fire. 
This  soon  had  its  effect,  and  our  boat  soon  left  the  Eclypse  far  in 
the  rear.  The  steamers  parted  at  the  mouth  of  the  Ohio.  The 
Captain  was  so  well  pleased  with  my  work  that  he  gave  Elder 
Twist  and  myself  a  free  passage. 

When  we  reached  Nashville  Elder  Twist  became  homesick  and 
left  me,  and  returned  to  Nauvoo.  I  gave  him  $10  to  pay  his 
way  home.  I  was  thus  left  alone  once  more.  I  found  the 
Branch  at  Nashville  in  a  health}7  condition,  and  much  pleased  to 
have  me  with  them.  I  then  visited  the  Branch  in  Putnam 
County,  and  preached  to  them,  advising  all  to  go  to  Nauvoo.  I 
added  several  new  members  to  the  Church.  By  the  next  Spring 
that  entire  Branch  had  gone  to  Nauvoo.  The  Branch  on  Stone 
River  also  went  to  Nauvoo  soon  after  I  returned  home.  A  dele- 
gation, headed  by  Captain  John  H.  Redd,  came  to  invite  me  to 
go  and  preach  in  the  settlement  where  Captain  Redd  lived. 
They  said  I  could  not  preach  publicly,  for  my  life  would  be  in 
danger,  as  many  of  the  citizens  were  very  hostile  to  the  Mor- 
mons and  had  run  one  man  out  of  the  neighborhood  for  practic- 
ing Mormonism,  and  Randolph  Alexander  had  been  run  off  for 
preaching  Mormonism.  Captain  Redd  was  formerly  a  sea  cap- 
tain and  a  native  of  South  Cai-olina.  I  told  the  delegation  I 
would  preach,  provided  they  gave  general  publicity  to  my  ap- 
pointment. They  were  startled  at  the  proposal,  and  said  my  life 
would  not  be  safe  a  moment  if  I  undertook  to  preach  in  public. 


I  told  them  to  trust  that  to  me.  They  returned  home  and  gave 
general  notice  of  when  and  where  I  would  preach.  At  the  ap- 
pointed time  I  started  for  the  place  of  meeting,  which  was 
twenty  miles  from  Murfreesborough.  I  was  met  by  a  guard  of 
ten  men,  headed  by  Captain  Redd,  who  came  to  meet  and  pro- 
tect me.  The  next  day  I  preached  to  a  large  number  of  peo- 
ple. I  spoke  two  hours  to  them,  upon  the  subject  of  our  free 
institutions  and  the  constitutional  rights  of  American  citizens. 
I  told  them  who  I  was  and  what  I  was ;  that  I  was  a  free  Amer- 
ican citizen ;  that  I  claimed  the  right  of  free  speech  as  a  free 
man ;  that  I  held  myself  open  for  investigation ;  that  if  the  peo- 
ple wished  me  to  set  forth  the  tenents  of  our  faith  I  wouldfdb.,so, 
otherwise  I  would  leave ;  that  if  they  did  not  desire  to  hear  the 
truth  they  could  make  it  manifest  and  I  would  leave  their  coun- 
try. The  vote  was  unanimous  for  me  to  tarry  and  preach  to 
them.  I  preached  there  twice.  My  first  sermon  was  upon-.the 
apostasy  of  the  churches  of  the  day  and  the  necessity  of  a  purer 
gOfe[  el,  proving  what  I  said  by  the  Scriptures.  I'flien  followed 
up  with  the  origin  and  authenticity  of  the  Book  of  Mormon. 

I  was  then  induced  to  continue  my  sermons.  I  staid  there 
and  continued  to  do  my  Master's  will.  After  the  fourth  sermon 
I  commenced  to  baptize  members.  The  first  one  that  I  bap- 
tized at  that  place  was  Parson  John  Holt,  of  the  Christian  faith. 
Then  I  baptized  seven  of  the  members  of  his  church ;  then  Cap- 
tain Redd  and  his  family.  This  unexpected  success  of  the  gos- 
pel created  great  excitement  in  that  section  of  country.  About 
ten  miles  from  there  lived  two  men,  lieutenants  in  the  militia 
company  of  Captain  Bogardus,  of  Missouri  fame  and  disgrace. 
These  men  had  strayed  into  this  section  of  the  country,  and 
were  employed  by  two  wealthy  farmers,  and  were  acting  as  over- 
seers. They  told  fearful  stories  about  the  Mormons  in  Missouri, 
and  gathered  up  a  mob  of  about  twenty-five  men  and  came  with 
them,  determined  to  tar  and  feather  me  if  I  preached  again. 
Word  reached  the  settlement  of  what  was  intended.  The  people 
came  to  me  to  ask  what  the}'  should  do.  I  told  them  to  wait 
and  let  me  manage  the  affair.  The  next  day,  Sunday,  while  I 
was  preaching,  one  of  the  lieutenants,  by  the  name  of  Dickey, 
made  his  appearance  with  ten  men.  He  informed  me  of  his  de- 
sign, and  that  I  must  quit  preaching  and  leave  for  other  parts  of 
the  country.  "Not  just  yet,"  said  I.  At  this  he  and  his  men 
made  a  rush  for  me.  As  they  started  the  women  next  to  the 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  137 

stand  formed  a  circle  around  me.  While  thus  surrounded  I 
continued  my  sermon.  I  refuted  the  absurd  stories  of  Dickey 
and  his  crew,  and  I  then  told  the  people  there  what  I  knew  had 
been  done  at  Far  West  by  Lieut.  Dickey  and  the  members  of 
Captain  Bogardus'  company.  The  mob  tore  down  my  stand, 
but  could  not  get  at  me.  Then  they  retired  to  consult.  Cap- 
tain J.  H.  Redd  then  appointed  a  meeting  to  be  held  at  his 
place  that  afternoon,  and  he  told  the  people  that  he  did  not  want 
any  person  to  come  into  his  yard  unless  they  came  intending  to 
behave ;  that  if  there  was  any  violence  used  there  some  one 
would  get  hurt.  I  preached  at  his  house  that  afternoon.  A 
fearfUl  storm  raged  during  most  of  the  time,  but  this  was  fortu- 
nate, for  it  kept  the  mob  away.  While  I  was  preaching  a 
drunken  wag  interrupted  me  and  called  me  a  d — d  liar.  Cap- 
tain Redd  was  sitting  near  me  with  two  large  pistols,  which  he 
called  his  peace-makers.  This  insult  was  not  more  than  out  of 
the  fellow's  mouth  when  Captain  Redd  caught  him  by  the  neck 
and  rushed  *him  out  of  the  house  into  the  rain.  The  coward 
begged  hard  for  himself,  but  he  was  forced  to  go  out  and  sit 
under  a  porch  during  the  rest  of  the  sermon.  Captain  Redd  was 
a  kind-hearted,  generous  man,  but  would  not  stand  abuse.  The 
next  Sunday  was  a  cloudy  day,  so  the  meeting  was  held  within 
doors.  Dickey  had  by  this  time  raised  his  mob  to  about  fifty 
men,  and  had  made  every  arrangement  to  give  me  a  warm  recep- 
tion. Two  men  who  were  intoxicated  were  selected  to  start  the 
disturbance,  or  "open  the  ball,"  as  they  called  it.  I  had  just 
commenced  speaking,  when  one  of  these  men  began  to  swear  and 
use  indecent  language,  and  made  a  rush  for  me  with  his  fist 
drawn.  I  at  once  made  a  Masonic  sign  of  distress,  when,  to  my 
relief  and  yet  to  my  surprise,  a  planter  rushed  to  my  aid.  He 
was  the  man  who  employed  Dickey.  He  took  the  drunken  men 
and  led  them  out  of  the  crowd,  and  sat  by  me  during  the  rest  of 
my  sermon,  thus  giving  me  full  protection.  That  man  was  a 
stranger  to  me,  but  he  was  a  good  man  and  a  true  Mason.  His 
action  put  an  end  to  mob  rule  at  that  place.  After  the  meeting 
I  baptized  some  ten  persons. 

Soon  afterwards  I  was  sent  for  by  Col.  Tucker,  of  Duck 
Creek,  Marshall  Co.,  to  come  there,  a  distance  of  thirty  miles. 
I  attended,  and  delivered  three  lectures,  which  were  well  receiv- 
ed by  all,  the  Colonel  in  particular.  He  was  a  wealthy  Virginian, 
and  pressed  me  warmly  to  make  his  house  my  home.  His  wife 


and  family  were  favorably  impressed.  They  were  of  the  Pres- 
byterian order,  and  two  of  her  brothers  were  ministers  of  that 
faith.  I  remained  here  a  few  days,  and  left  an  appointment  to 
preach  on  the  following  Saturday  and  Sunday.  Before  leaving 
I  let  the  Colonel's  lady  have  books  on  our  faith,  and  returned  to 
fill  some  appointments  that  I  had  made  at  Capt.  Redd's.  At  the 
appointed  time  I  returned  to  fill  my  appointments  on  Buckskin. 

Within  half  a  mile  of  Col.  Tucker's  house  was  a  Methodist 
chapel.  At  this  place  lived  a  New  Light  preacher,  an  old  man, 
who  invited  me  to  stop  with  him.  He  informed  me  that  Col. 
Tucker  had  become  bitter  against  the  Mormons  on  account  of 
his  wife  believing  in  them,  and  that  she  wanted  to  be  baptized. 
She  had  left  word  with  him  requesting  me  not  to  leave  without 
baptizing  her.  This  was  something  that  I  wished  to  avoid,  so 
to  prevent  trouble  I  concluded  not  to  go  to  Col.  Tucker's  at  all. 
I  filled  my  appointments,  and  returned  to  my  Christian  friend's 
house  for  refreshments,  intending  to  make  my  way  over  the 
mountains  that  night,  and  thus  avoid  meeting  Mrs.  Tucker.  I 
had  just  finished  supper,  and  stepped  to  the  door  to  start  back, 
when  I  met  Mrs.  Tucker.  She  upbraided  me  for  not  calling  to 
see  her.  I  said  to  her  that  it  was  contrary  to  the  rules  of  our 
faith  for  an  elder  to  interfere  in  any  man's  family  against  the 
wish  or  will  of  the  husband  or  parents ;  that  she  should  keep- 
quiet  and  the  Lord  would  take  the  will  for  the  deed.  The  more 
I  tried  to  reconcile  her,  the  more  determined  she  became  to  be 
baptized.  While  I  was  talking  with  her  a  young  man  came  to 
us  and  reported  that  Col.  Tucker  had  ambushed  himself,  with  a 
double-barreled  shot-gun,  near  the  place  of  baptizing,  swearing 
vengence  against  the  man  that  attempted  to  baptize  his  wife. 

I  was  in  hopes  to  persuade  her  to  return,  but  in  vain.  She 
said  to  me,  "You  have  declared  3'our  mission  is  from  Heaveur 
that  you  are  a  servant  of  God,  and  I  believe  it.  Now  I  demand 
baptism  at  your  hands.  If  you  are  a  servant  of  God,  don't 
shrink  from  your  duty." 

I  looked  at  her  for  a  moment,  and  said,  "  Woman,  if  you 
have  faith  enough  to  be  baptized  under  these  circumstances,  I 
have  faith  enough  to  try  it  at  least."  Some  ten  personal  friends 
who  lived  in  the  little  village  accompained  us  to  the  water,  a 
short  distance  above  the  usual  place  of  baptizing,  and  attended 
during  the  performance  of  the  ordinance.  They  advised  her  to 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  13£' 

return  home  immediately,  with  her  two  servants,  and  never  let 
on  as  though  anything  had  happened.  We  started  to  return  to 
the  house  of  my  friend,  carrying  my  boots  in  my  hand.  It  was 
now  dark.  As  I  got  to  the  top  of  a  high  fence,  and  cast  my 
eyes  about  me,  I  luckily  saw  a  man  near  me  in  the  rear,  with 
a  double-barreled  shot-gun  in  his  hands,  or  what  I  supposed 
was  such.  He  was  within  ten  steps  of  me,  or  nearer.  I  at 
once  recognized  him  to  be  Col.  Tucker.  Having  heard  of 
his  threats,  I  was  induced  not  to  tempt  him  too  far.  I  placed 
my  hands  on  the  fence  and  sprang  over  it,  alighting  on  the 
other  side,  near  a  cross-fence  which  separated  the  garden  from 
a  field  of  corn,  to  avoid  a  collision  with  him.  As  quick  as- 
thought  I  got  on  the  opposite  side  of  the  fence,  among  the  corn, 
which  was  at  full  height.  I  was  within  twenty  feet  of  Tucker 
and  could  hear  all  that  was  said.  I  heard  him  rave,  draw 
his  shot-gun  down,  and  demand  with  oaths  what  they  were 
doing  there.  Had  they  been  baptizing  his  wife?  I  recognized 
the  voice  of  the  Parson's  lady  with  whom  I  was  stopping. 
She  had  the  wet  clothes  of  Mrs.  Tucker. 

"  Tell  me,"  demanded  Tucker,  "  if  my  wife  has  been  baptized, 
or  I  will  blow  }'our  brains  out."  The  reply  was,  "  She  has  been 
baptized."  "Where  is  that  infernal  Mormon  preacher?"  de- 
manded the  Colonel;  "I  will  put  a  load  of  shot  through  him." 
"He  is  in  that  corn  field,"  was  the  reply.  The  Colonel  then  raved 
the  more.  Finally  some  of  his  friends  persuaded  him  to  return 
home,  and  not  disgrace  himself.  He  pretended  to  do  so,  but  it 
was  only  a  feint  to  get  me  out,  I  feared.  After  waiting  until  all 
was  quiet,  I  returned  to  the  house  of  my  friend,  and  passed 
through  the  door  and  went  out  on  the  porch.  I  sat  down  and 
was  slipping  off  my  socks,  to  put  on  dry  ones,  when  I  heard  a 
rustling  in  the  room  behind  me.  The  next  moment  Col.  Tucker 
had  his  gun  leveled  on  me,  and  it  flashed.  He  then  whirled  the 
butt  of  it  to  fell  me  to  the  earth.  Seeing  my  danger  I  sprang 
and  caught  him  around  the  waist,  with  one  of  his  arms  in  my 
grasp,  which  left  him  with  only  one  arm  loose.  He  said,  "I 
have  you  now,  d — n  you,  where  I  want  you."  He  was  a  strong, 
muscular  man,  and,  no  doubt,  supposed  I  would  be  no  match 
for  him.  I  ordered  a  young  man  that  stood  near  by,  to  take 
his  gun.  I  then  gripped  him  with  an  iron  hug,  and  sent  him 
back  into  the  room.  The  old  gentleman  with  whom  I  was  stop- 
ping, ordered  him  out  of  the  house  unless  he  would  behave  him- 


self.  He  said  he  had  invited  me  to  his  house,  and  felt  that  it 
was  his  duty  to  protect  me.  The  Colonel  replied  that  he  would 
go  if  he  could,  that  he  never  knew  before  that  when  he  was  in 
the  hands  of  a  Mormon,  he  was  in  a  bear's  clutches.  I  said,  "I 
will  take  you  out  if  it  will  accommodate  you."  Thus  saying, 
I  stepped  out  on  the  porch  with  him.  I  saw  that  he  was  willing 
to  go.  This  gave  me  new  courage.  He  said,  "D — n  you,  let 
me  go  or  I  will  blow  your  brains  out  when  I  get  loose."  I  re- 
plied, "There  is  but  one  condition  on  which  I  will  let  you  go, 
and  that  is  that  you  will  go  home  and  be  quiet  and  trouble  me 
no  more."  He  replied,  "  D — n  you,  I  will  settle  with  you  for  all 
this."  I  felt  that  a  man  who  would  treat  a  stranger  as  he  had 
me,  could  not  have  the  moral  courage  to  back  him  in  so  shame- 
ful an  act  as  the  one  he  was  engaged  in.  This  was  in  the  month 
of  July,  and  it  was  very  warm.  I  had  hugged  him  closely,  and 
he  was  growing  weak.  He  said  again,  "  Let  me  go,  I  am  getting 
faint.  I  will  be  still  if  you  will  let  go  of  me,  and  I  will  make  it 
hot  for  you  if  you  don't  let  me  go."  As  he  said  this  I  renewed 
my  grip  upon  him,  and  raising  him  up,  said,  "You  have  tried  to 
take  my  life  without  cause,  and  still  persist  in  doing  so.  If  you 
don't  behave  I  will  throw  you  out  of  sight  on  this  hard  ground." 
I  said  this  with  an  emphasis  as  though  I  meant  it.  As  I  was, 
as  he  supposed,  in  the  act  of  dashing  him  to  the  ground,  he 
begged  of  me,  saying  that  if  I  would  let  him  loose,  he  would  go 
and  trouble  me  no  more.  I  let  him  fall  to  the  ground,  and 
handed  him  his  gun,  and  let  him  live.  When  he  got  a  little  dis- 
tance away  he  began  threatening  me,  and  said  he  would  be  re- 
venged. After  all  had  quieted  down  I  retired  to  rest  in  the  up- 
per story  of  my  friend's  house. 

About  one  o'clock  in  the  morning  I  was  awakened  by  the 
voice  of  a  female,  which  I  recognized  as  the  voice  of  Mrs. 
Tucker,  in  company  with  two  or  three  other  ladies.  She  inform- 
ed me  that  her  husband  was  bent  on  my  destruction,  and  that 
he  and  ten  men  were  way  laying  my  road,  and  advised  me  not 
to  start  in  that  direction  ;  that  her  husband  had  accused  her  of 
wetting  the  wads  in  his  gun  to  save  my  life  ;  but  for  me  to  be  of 
good  cheer  and  put  my  trust  in  God,  and  that  she  had  not  re- 
gretted the  steps  she  had  taken.  I  thanked  her  for  her  kindness, 
and  told  her  that  I  wished  her  to  return  home  and  not  come  to 
see  me  any  more ;  that  I  was  in  the  hands  of  God  and  He 
would  protect  me  and  deliver  me  safe ;  that  her  visits  to  me 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  141 

would  only  make  her  husband  more  enraged  at  her.  They 
retired,  and  I  fell  asleep. 

At  four  o'clock  I  awoke,  dressed  myself,  and  ordered  the  ser- 
vant to  saddle  my  horse.  As  the  servant  hitched  my  horse  to 
the  post,  Tucker  and  several  men  appeared  upon  the  ground. 
Tucker  told  the  servant  that  he  would  cut  him  in  two  if  he  sad- 
dled my  horse.  I  spoke  to  Tucker  kindly,  saluting  him  with 
the  time  of  day.  His  reply  was,  "I  have  got  you  now, 
d — n  you."  Thus  saying,  he  ordered  his  nephew  to  bring 
Esquire  Walls  immediately.  After  washing,  I  took  my  seat  on 
the  porch,  and  took  out  my  Bible  to  read.  Tucker  stood  about 
ten  steps  from  me  to  guard  me  and  my  horse.  My  old  friend, 
the  New  Light  preacher,  with  whom  I  was  lodging,  had  a  fine 
horse  saddled  for  me  and  hitched  on  the  south  side  of  the  corn- 
field. He  advised  me  to  pass,  down  through  the  corn-field  while 
I  could  do  so  without  being  detected,  and  thus  get  away  out  of 
the  county  before  a  warrant  could  be  issued  for  my  arrest. 
Deliverance  was  very  tempting,  yet  I  did  not  like  the  name  of 
running  away  from  trouble.  It  would  convey  the  impression  of 
fear,  if  not  guilt,  to  most  casual  observers.  So  I  chose  to  face 
the  music  and  abide  the  consequences. 

A  little  after  sunrise  I  saw  Justice  Walls  coming,  and  some 
fifty  men  with  him.  At  this  my  heart  leaped  for  joy.  Among  so 
many  I  was  satisfied  all  were  not  against  me,  as  many  of  them 
had  attended  lectures  and  were  favorably  impressed  with  them. 
After  a  short  interview  with  Col.  Tucker,  Justice  Walls  informed 
me  that  Col.  Tucker  demanded  from  him  a  warrant  for  my 
arrest,  for  having  baptized  his  wife  without  his  consent.  I  asked 
Col.  Tucker  if  he  ever  forbid  me  to  baptize  his  wife  ;  if  he  did 
not  invite  me  to  his  house  and  invite  me  to  stop  there  when  I 
returned ;  that  I  had  not  seen  him,  after  this  conversation,  until 
after  his  wife  was  baptized.  That  I  had  not  urged  her  to  be 
baptized ;  that  she  came  to  me  and  demanded  to  be  baptized.  I 
told  the  Justice  that  I  had  violated  no  law  of  Tennessee. 
The  law  allows  a  wife  much  greater  privileges  than  being  bap- 
tized without  the  consent  of  her  husband ;  that  she  could  sell 
one-third  of  his  real  estate,  and  her  deed  would  be  good.  The 
Justice  said  I  was  right,  and  told  the  Colonel  it  would  be  use- 
less to  issue  a  warrant  .without  just  cause.  The  Colonel  then 
demanded  a  warrant  for  my  arrest  for  assault  and  battery.  He 
said  I  had  abused  his  person,  and  that  he  was  sore  all  over  and 


scarcely  able  to  walk.  The  Justice  told  the  Colonel  that  it 
seemed  to  him  that  he  was  the  one  who  had  made  the  assault ; 
that  he  snapped  a  loaded  gun  at  me  and  had  attempted  to  take 
my  life,  and  that  what  I  had  done  was  in  self-defejise.  He  told 
Colonel  Tucker  he  would  talk  with  him  again. 

He  then  beckoned  to  me  to  follow  him,  and  I  did  so.  We  went 
into  a  room  by  ourselves,  when  he  said  to  me,  "  Parson  Lee, 
you  have  many  warm  friends  here.  I  have  been  very  much  in- 
terested in  your  lectures.  I  believe  you  to  be  honest  and  firm 
in  your  faith,  and  I  will  do  all  I  can  for  you.  Colonel  Tucker  is 
a  desperate  man  when  aroused.  As  a  matter  of  policy,  to 
humor  him,  I  will  give  him  a  writ,  but  I  will  manage  to  delay 
the  time  to  enable  you  to  get  out  of  the  county.  I  will  send 
for  my  law  books,  with  instructions  to  delay  in  getting  them 
here,  and  will  argue  with  the  Colonel  that  I  must  have  my  books 
here  to  examine  the  law.  It  is  only  four  miles  to  the  county 
line,  when  you  will  be  all  right.  Then  take  the  trail  over  the 
mountain,  and  they  will  not  know  which  way  you  have  gone. 
"When  you  get  into  your  county  remember  me  on  election  day. 
This  county  and  Eutherford  County  send  three  members  to  the 
Legislature.  I  am  a  candidate,  and  the  vote  of  your  friends  in 
these  counties  will  secure  my  election.  "When  I  send  for  my 
books  you  appear  and  bid  us  good-bye,  as  though  yon  were  not 
afraid  of  any  man.  Colonel  Tucker  has  promised  me  he  will 
use  no  violence  if  I  will  give  him  a  writ."  The  Justice  then 
gave  me  a  token  of  the  Brotherhood,  and  then  walked  out  to 
confer  with  Colonel  Tucker,  and  sent  his  nephew  back  for  his 
books,  instructing  him  to  delay  in  getting  them,  so  as  to  give 
me  time  to  get  out  of  the  county,  before  an  officer  could  over- 
take me.  He  told  the  Colonel  to  keep  cool  and  he  would  soon 
have  a  writ  for  me. 

I  went  into  the  dining-room  and  sat  down  to  breakfast,  and 
ate  a  little  as  a  blind.  Then  taking  up  my  saddle-bags,  bade 
them  all  good-bye. 

I  walked  to  my  horse,  that  stood  hitched  where  the  servant 
had  left  him.  As  I  left  the  house  Justice  Walls  followed  me  as 
though  he  was  very  much  surprised,  and  said,  "Parson  Lee,  I 
hope  you  will  tarry  until  this  matter  can  be  settled  amicably." 
I  told  him  that  I  had  violated  no  law,  that  my  ministerial  engage- 
ments compelled  me  to  leave,  and  that  I  should  have  done  so 
.before  had  not  this  unpleasant  affair  detained  me  ;  that  I  chose 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  143 

to  serve  God  rather  than  fear  the  ire  of  man.  Thus  saying,  I 
placed  my  saddle  upon  my  horse.  Colonel  Tucker  leveled  his  gun 
on  me,  and  said,  "  D — n  }TOU,  I  knew  you  would  run."  I 
turned  and  eyed  him  and  told  him  to  put  up  his  gun ;  that  I  had 
borne  all  I  intended  to  from  him  ;  that  if  he  attempted  violence 
he  would  never  trouble  another  man.  At  the  same  time  the 
Justice  told  him  to  be  careful,  that  he  had  made  himself  liable 
already.  I  mouted  my  horse  and  turned  to  the  Colonel  and 
told  him  he  might  guard  that  wood-pile  until  the  day  of  judg- 
ment, for  all  that  I  cared.  He  again  raised  his  gun,  but  was 
prevented  by  the  bystanders  from  shooting.  I  rode  off  leisurely, 
and  when  about  seventy-five  yards  away  I  stopped  and  watered 
my  horse.  Tucker  again  drew  his  gun  on  me,  and  I  expected 
him  to  shoot  every  moment,  but  I  durst  not  show  fear.  My 
road  lay  along  the  mountain  for  some  two  miles.  When  I  passed 
a  house  I  would  walk  my  horse,  and  sing  and  seem  to  be  wholly 
unconcerned,  but  when  I  was  out  of  sight  I  put  my  horse  on  the 
keen  jump,  and  was  soon  safe  out  of  Marshall  County  and  in 
Rutherford.  Finding  an  out-of-the-way  place,  with  good  blue 
grass  and  plenty  of  shade,  I  got  down  from  my  horse  and  re- 
turned thanks  to  my  Father  in  heaven  for  my  deliverance. 

In  the  afternoon  I  arrived  at  the  house  of  Capt.  Redd,  where 
I  generally  made  my  home.  The  brethren  all  came  to  welcome 
me  back,  and  I  related  to  them  my  experience  and  deliverance. 
A  short  time  after  this  James  K.  Polk  and  Col.  Jones,  both  can- 
didates for  the  office  of  Governor  of  Tennessee,  and  the  candi- 
didates  for  the  Legislature,  including  my  friend  Walls,  met  at 
Murfreesborough  and  held  a  political  meeting.  Walls  related  to 
me  the  sequel  of  what  happened  with  Col.  Tucker.  When  his 
nephew  went  for  his  law  books  he  permitted  his  horse  to  get 
away,  and  was  nearly  ruined  in  the  brush  and  grapevines  while 
I  was  escaping.  Col.  Tucker  did  not  blame  the  Justice  at  all, 
but  rather  sympathized  with  him  in  his  misfortune.  Mrs.  Tucker 
still  remained  firm  in  her  faith.  The  kindness  of  Justice  Walls 
to  me  in  my  hour  of  peril  was  not  forgotten.  I  spoke  of  it  in  all 
my  meetings,  and  to  my  friends  in  private.  And  to  this  act  of  jus- 
tice and  humanit3r  he  owed  his  election,  as  he  was  elected  by  a 
majority  of  only  five  votes. 

I  visited  the  branch  on  Stone  River  and  made  arrangements 
to  return  to  my  family  at  Nauvoo,  the  City  of  Joseph.  The  two 
•branches  now  numbered  about  sixty  members.  I  organized  a 


branch  west  of  Murfreesborough,  and  ordained  John  Holt  to  the 
office  of  Elder.  I  baptized  a  37oung  girl  at  Readysville,  by  the 
name  of  Sarah  C.  Williams,  of  rich  parentage.  She  was  about 
ten  years  old,  and  afterwards  emigrated  to  Nauvoo,  with  the 
family  of  Wm.  Pace.  She  was  sealed  to  me  in  her  fourteenth 
year,  and  is  still  with  me.  She  is  the  mother  of  twelve  children, 
and  has  been  a  true,  faithful  companion  to  me.  I  lectured  at 
Murfreesborough  for  about  ten  days,  and  about  the  first  of  Octo- 
ber, 1843,  I  took  the  steamer  at  Nashville  for  my  home  at  Nau- 
voo, arriving  there  on  the  14th  of  October. 



Upon  lay  return  home  I  found  my  family  well.  "Work  on  the 
Temple  was  progressing  finely,  and  every  effort  was  being  made 
to  push  it  ahead.  About  this  time  John  C.  Bennett  came  on  a 
visit  to  see  the  Prophet,  and  soon  after  joined  the  Church.  At 
that  time  he  wielded  quite  an  influence  in  government  affairs.  He 
grew  in  the  graces  of  the  Prophet  and  became  his  right-hand 
man.  He  endeavored,  in  connection  with  Stephen  A.  Douglass, 
to  obtain  a  charter  for  the  City  of  Nauvoo.  Bennett  organized 
the  Nauvoo  Legion,  and  was  elected  Major  General.  Through 
his  influence,  backed  by  Douglass,  arms  were  obtained  for 
the  Legion  from  the  government.  A  Free  Mason's  lodge, 
and  the  privileges  of  Masonry,  were  extended  to  the  Le- 
gion. Judge  Cleveland,  of  Springfield,  111.,  was  very  friendly, 
and  frequently  visited  the  Pruphet.  A  fine  lodge  was  built  in 
Nauvoo,  and  many  were  admitted  as  members.  The  brothers, 
Joseph  and  Hyrum  Smith,  held  high  positions  in  the  brother- 
hood. I  here  became  a  member  of  the  order  and  received  three 

The  institution  flourished  during  our  stay  in  Nauvoo,  and  was 
frequently  visited  by  the  Grand  Worshipful  Master  from  Spring- 
field, and  lectures  were  had  and  a  library  established.  I  was 
Librarian  of  the  order.  I  was  also  Wharf  Master  of  the  city, 
and  held  the  position  of  Major  in  the  Nauvoo  Legion,  and  com- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  145 

manded  the  escort  in  the  Fifth  Infantry.  I  was  made  the  gen- 
eral clerk  and  reader  for  the  Seventies  and  issued  the  laws  to 
that  body.  I  held  the  office  of  a  Seventy,  and  was  collector 
of  the  delinquent  military  tax.  "The  same  Fall  I  was  appointed 
on  a  committee,  with  Brigham  Young  as  counselor,  to  build  a 
hall  for  the  Seventies,  the  upper  story  to  be  used  for  the  Priest- 
hood and  the  Council  of  Fifty.  Previous  to  my  being  appointed 
on  the  committee  two  committees  had  been  appointed,  but  had 
accomplished  nothing,  and  we  commenced  without  a  dollar. 
My  plan  was  to  build  it  by  shares,  of  the  value  of  five  dollars 
each.  Hyrum  Smith,  the  Patriarch,  told  me  that  he  would  give 
the  Patriarchal  Blessing  to  any  that  labored  on  the  foundation 
of  the  building.  The  Seventies  numbered  about  four  hundred 
and  ninety  men.  I  was  to  create  the  material.  That  is,  I  would 
watch,  and  when  I  could  get  a  contract  to  take  out  lumber  from 
the  river,  as  rafts  would  land  at  the  city,  I  would  take  common 
laboring  men,  and  the  portion  of  the  lumber  that  we  got  for  our 
pay  we  would  pile  up  for  the  building.  In  this  way  we  got  all 
the  lumber  needed.  The  brick  we  made  ourselves,  and  boated 
the  wood  to  burn  them  and  our  lime  from  the  island. 

In  the  month  of  March,  1844,  we  had  the  building  up  on  the 
west  side  nearly  two  stories  high.  One  day  when  the  wall  was  built 
up  nine  feet  high  and  fortj^-five  feet  long,  and  was  of  course 
green,  a  tornado  came  that  night  and  blew  the  wall  down, 
breaking  columns  and  joists  below,  doing  a  damage  of  several 
thousand  dollars.  I  was  inclined  to  be  down  in  the  lip,  but 
Brigham  Young  laughed  at  me,  and  said  it  was  the  best  omen 
in  the  world ;  it  showed  that  the  Devil  was  mad,  and  knew  that 
the  Seventy  would  receive  the  blessings  of  God  in  that  house  ; 
and  as  they  were  special  witnesses  to  the  nations  of  the  earth, 
they  would  make  his  kingdom  quake  and  tremble ;  that  when 
Noah  was  building  the  ark  he  was  mobbed  three  times,  but  he 
persevered,  and  finally  they  said,  "Let  the  d — d  old  fool 
alone,  and  see  what  he  will  accomplish."  "  Just  so  with  you ; 
double  your  diligence  and  put  her  up  again.  If  you  do  not  you 
will  lose  many  a  blessing." 

I  went  to  work  again  with  as  m  any  men  as  could  work  to  ad- 
vantage. We  threw  the  wall  down  flat,  and  commenced  a  new 
one,  another  brick  thicker  than  the  former.  I  borrowed  fifty 
thousand  brick,  and  made  them  and  returned  them  when  the 
weather  was  fine.  By  the  first  of  May  we  had  the  Hull  closed  in. 


I  must  now  leave  the  building  of  the  hall  for  other  matters. 
During  the  winter,  Joseph,  the  Prophet,  set  a  man  by  the 
name  of  Sidney  Hay  Jacobs,  to  select  from  the  Old  Bible  such 
scriptures  as  pertained  to  polygamy,  or  celestial  marriage,  and 
to  write  it  in  pamphlet  form,  and  to  advocate  that  doctrine.  This 
he  did  as  a  feeler  among  the  people,  to  pave  the  way  for  celes- 
tial marriage.  This,  like  all  other  notions,  met  with  opposition, 
while  a  few  favored  it.  The  excitement  among  the  people  be- 
came so  great  that  the  subject  was  laid  before  the  Prophet.  No 
one  was  more  opposed  to  it  than  was  his  brother  Hyrum,  who 
denounced  it  as  from  beneath.  Joseph  saw  that  it  would-  break 
up  the. Church,  should  he  sanction  it,  so  he  denounced  the  pam- 
phlet through  the  Wasp,  a  newspaper  published  at  Nauvoo, 
by  E.  Robinson,  as  a  bundle  of  nonsense  and  trash.  He  said  if 
he  had  known  its  contents  he  would  never  have  permitted  it  to 
be  published,  while  at  the  same  time  other  confidential  men 
were  advocating  it  on  their  own  responsibility.  Joseph  himself 
eaid  on  the  stand,  that  should  he  reveal  the  will  of  God  concern- 
ing them,  that  they,  pointing  to  President  W.  Marks,  P.  P.  Pratt, 
and  others,  would  shed  his  blood.  He  urged  them  to  surrender 
themselves  to  God  instead  of  rebelling  against  the  stepping 
stone  of  their  exaltation.  In  this  way  he  wor  ked  upon  the  feelings 
and  minds  of  the  people,  until  they  feared  that  the  anger  of  the 
Lord  would  be  kindled  against  them,  and  they  insisted  upon 
knowing  the  will  of  Heaven  concerning  themi  But  he  dared  not 
proclaim  it  publicly,  so  it  was  taught  confidentially  to  such  as 
were  strong  enough  in  the  faith  to  take  another  step.  About 
the  same  time  the  doctrine  of  "sealing"  for  an  eternal  state  was 
introduced,  and  the  Saints  were  given  to  understand  that  their 
marriage  relations  with  each  other  were  not  valid.  That  those 
who  had  solemnized  the  rites  of  matrimony  had  no  authority  of 
God  to  do  so.  That  the  true  priesthood  was  taken  from  the 
earth  with  the  death  of  the  Apostles  and  inspiredv  men  of  God. 
That  they  were  married  to  each  other  only  by  their  own  cove- 
nants, and  that  if  their  marriage  relations  had  not  been  produc- 
tive of  blessings  and  peace,  and  they  felt  it  oppressive  to  remain 
together,  they  were  at  liberty  to  make  their  own  choice,  as  much 
as  if  they  had  not  been  married.  That  it  was  a  sin  for  people 
to  live  together,  and  raise  or  beget  children,  in  alienation, 
from  each  other.  There  should  exist  an  affinity  between 
each  other,  not  a  lustful  one,  as  that  can  never  cement  that 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  147 

love  and  affection  that  should  existjjetween  a  man  and  his  wife. 
I  will  here  mention  that  Orson  Hyde  and  W.  W7  Phelps~ 
turned  against  Joseph  in  Missouri,  and  forsook  him  in  time  of 
peril  and  danger,  and  even  testified  against  him  in  the  courts. 
After  the  troubles  were  over,  and  Joseph  was  again  in  place  in 
the  midst  of  the  Saints,  they  both  wished  to  be  restored  to  fel- 
lowship and  standing  in  the  Church,  confessing  their  faults. 
Joseph  laid  the  case  before  the  Church,  and  said  that  if  God 
.o'ould  forgive  them  he  ought  to,  and  would  do  so,  and'give  them 
another  chance.  With  tears  he  moved  that  we  would  forgive 
them  and  receive  them  back  into  fellowship.  He  then  sent  El- 
der O.  Hyde'  and  John  E.  Page  to  Jerusalem,  and  to  the  land  of 
Palestine,  to  dedicate  that  land  for  the  gathering  of  the  Jews. 
Report  said  that  Hy,de_ls_jsife,  with  his  consent,  was  sealed  to 
Josejjh  for  an  eternal  state,  but  I  do  not  assert  the  fact.  I  also 
understood  that  .Brigham  Young's  wife  was  sealed  to  Joseph. 
After  the  death  of  Joseph,  Brigham  Young  told  me  that  Joseph's 
time  on  earth  was  short,  and  that  the  Lord  allowed  him  privi- 
leges that  we  could  not  have^ 

A  difference  arose  between  Joseph  and  Win.  Law,  his  second 
counselor,  on  account  of  Law's  wife.  Law  said  that  the  Proph- 
et proposed  making  her  his  wife,  and  she  so  reported  to  her  hus- 
band. Law  loved  his  wife  and  was  devoted  to  her,  as  she  was  ' 
an  amiable  and  handsome  woman,  and  he  did  not  feel  like  giv- 
ing her  up  to  another  man.  He  exposed  the  Prophet,  and  from 
that  time  became  his  enemy.  \  His  brother, 

They  were  Canadians,  and  wealthy  and  influential 
men.  They,  in  connection  with  Foster  and  Higbee,  who  were 
•on  the  wane  in  the  faith,  established  a  paper  at  Nauvoo,  called 
the  Expositor,  in  which  they  took  about  the  same  position  that 
the  Salt  Lake  Daily  Tribune  does.  They  set  the  Prophet  up 
without  mercy.  They  soon  got  after  Brigham  for  trying  to  in- 
fluence Martha  Brotherton  to  be  sealed  to  Jose  ph.  Her  father 
found  it  out  and  helped  to  expose  them,  which  made  it  rather 
hot  for  them.  The  next  move  of  the  Prophet  and  his  friends 
was  to  get  the  City  Council  to  pass  an  ordinance  declaring  the 
Expositor  to  be  a  nuisance,  and  also  Higbee^grocery,  unless 
they  would  close  them  up. 

John  C.  Bennett  became  suspected,  and  fears  were  entertained 
that  he  would  join  the  faction.  He  was  accused  of  selling  of- 
fices in  the  miltary  organization,  to  certain  men  who  would  help 


him  win  the  good  graces  of  some  of  the  young  sisters,  and  that 
he  became  intimate  with  Orson  Pratt's  wife,  while  Pratt  was  on 
a  mission.  That  he  built  her  a  fine  frame  house,  and  lodo-ed 

'  O 

with  her,  and  used  her  asjiisjyife.  Fearing  that  Bennett  would 
assail  the  character  of  the  Prophet,  I  brought  him  before  the 
City  Council,  and  had  him  make  a  statement,  certifying  that  he 
knew  nothing  derogatory  to  the  character  of  the  Prophet,  and 
that  his  behavior  was  that  of  a  gentleman  and  a  man  of  God. 
After  this,  Bennett  was  hauled  up  and  dealt  with,  and  severed 
from  the  Church.  He  said  that  the  Prophet^  gave  him  per- 
mission to  do  as  he  had  done  with  Mrs.  Pratt.  Joseph  said 
Bennett  was  guilty  of  adultery,  but  that  as  a  matter  of  policy  he 
had  not  exposed  him  until  after  Bennett  had  made  his  statement. 

Previous  to  this  time,  the  Prophet  had  written  a  letter  ta 
Martin  Van  Buren,  wishing  to  know  his  views  in  regard  to  the 
grievances  and  wrongs  of  the  Mormon  people,  should  he  be 
elected  President.  He  replied  that  he  believed  their  cause  was 
just,  and  that  Congress  had  no  right  to  interfere.  That  it  was  a 
State  matter,  and  was  left  to  the  Executive.  The  Prophet 
addressed  another  letter  to  Wm.  H.  Harrison,  on  the  same  sub- 
ject. His  answer  was  but  little  more  satisfactory.  He  then 
drew  up  a  statement  of  his  own,  of  the  power  and  policy  of  the 
Government.  A  convention  was  called,  and  the  Prophet  was 
nominated  as  a  candidate  for  the  Presidency.  He  set  forth  his 
views  in  the  Nauvoo  Neighbor,  &  newspaper  formerly  knows 
as  the  Wasp.  He  stated  that  if  the  people  would  elect  him 
President  it  would  be  the  salvation  of  the  nation,  but  if  other- 
wise, the  Union  would  soon  be  severed.  That  the  two  political 
parties  would  continue  to  influence  the  people  until  it  would 
end  in  a  civil  war,  in  which  all  nations  would  take  part,  and 
this  nation  would  be  broken  up.  At  this  convention,  the  Elders 
were  assigned  missions  to  different  States.  I  was  sent  to  stump 
the  State  of  Kentucky,  with  ten  elders  to  assist  me. 

Brigham  Young  said  to  me,  "You  had  better  shut  up  the 
Seventies'  Hall,  and  obey,  perhaps,  the  last  call  of  the  Prophet." 
Things  looked  rather  squally  before  I  left,  and  but  little  prospect 
of  growing  better.  I  left  Nauvoo  on  the  4th  of  May,  1844, 
with  greater  reluctance  than  I  had  on  any  previous  mission.  It 
was  hard  enough  to  preach  the  gospel  without  purse  or  scrip, 
but  it  was  nothing  compared  to  offering  a  man  with  the  reputa- 
tion that  Joseph  Smith  had,  to  the  people  as  a  candidate  for 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE,  149 

the  highest  gift  of  the  nation.  I  would  a  thousand  times  rather 
have  been  shut  up  in  jail,  than  to  have  taken  the  trip,  but  I 
dared  not  refuse.  )^ 

About  one  hundred  of  us  took  the  steamer  Ospray,  for  St. 
Louis.  Our  mission  was  understood  by  all  the  passengers  on 
board.  I  was  not  long  waiting  until  the  subject  was  brought 
up.  .  I  had  made  up  my  mind  to  banish  all  fear,  and  overcome 
timidity.  I  made  the  people  believe  that  I  felt  highly  honored 
to  electioneer  for  a  Prophet  of  God.  That  it  was  a  privilege 
that  few  men  enjoyed  in  these  days.  I  endeavored  to  make  my- 
self agreeable  by  mixing  with  the  passengers  on  the  steamer. 
I  told  them  that  the  Prophet  would  lead  both  candidates  from 
the  start.  There  was  a  large  crowd  on  the  boat,  and  an  elec- 
tion was  proposed.  Judges  and  clerks  were  appointed  and  a 
vote  taken.  The  Prophet  received  a  majority  of  seventy-five, 
out  of  one  hundred  and  twenty-five  votes  polled.  This  created 
a  tremendous  laugh,  and  we  kept  it  up  till  we  got  to  St.  Louis. 
Here  the  most  of  us  took  the  steamer  Mermaid.  The  change  of 
steamers  afforded  me  a  new  field  of  labor.  Here  I  met  a  brother 
of  Gen.  Atchinson,  one  of  the  commanders  of  the  militia  that 
served  against  the  Church  at  Far  West.  He  became  very  much 
interested  in  me,  and  when  we  parted  at  Smithland,  Ky.,  he  in- 
vited me  to  go  home  with  him  and  preach  in  his  neighborhood. 
My  destination  being  Frankfort,  I  could  not  accept  his  invita- 
tion. I  went  to  Lexington,  by  way  of  Georgetown,  lecturing  as 
I  went.  I  finally  went  to  the  Capital,  put  up  at  a  hotel,  and 
endeavored  to  hire  the  State  House  to  speak  in,  but  found  it 

My  funds  were  low,  though  my  hotel  bill  was  four  dollars  per 
day.  After  three  days'  trial  I  hired  the  Court  House.  The 
people  said  that  no  Mormon  had  ever  been  able  to  get  a  hearing, 
though  several  had  attempted  to  do  so.  When  evening  came  I 
had  to  light  up  the  house  and  ring  the  bell.  Elder  S.  B.  Frost 
assisted  me.  Soon  the  hall  was  filled  with  none  but  juveniles, 
from  ten  to  fifteen  years  of  age.  I  understood  the  trick.  They 
supposed  I  would  leave,  but  to  their  surprise  I  arose  and  said  I 
was  glad  to  see  them  out  in  such  great  numbers ;  that  I  knew 
they  had  good  parents,  or  they  would  not  be  here ;  that  if  they 
would  take  seats  and  be  quiet  we  would  sing  them  some  of  our 
Mormon  songs.  Elder  Frost  was  a  charming  singer.  We  sang 
two  or  three  songs.  Our  juvenile  hearers  seemed  paralyzed.  I 


then  knelt  down  and  prayed.  By  this  time  the  hall  was  crowded 
with  men,  and  I  begged  them  not  to  crowd  my  little  friends  out. 
I  then  spoke  about  an  hour  and  a  half  upon  the  constitutional 
rights  of  American  citizens.  I  spoke  of  the  character  of  the 
Southern  people ;  that  they  were  noted  for  their  kind  and  gener- 
ous treatment  of  strangers  in  particular,  but  that  I  feared, 
from  the  treatment  I  had  received,  that  I  had  missed  my 
way  in  Kentucky.  My  sires  were  of  Southern  birth ;  my  father 
was  a  relative  of  the  Revolutionary  Lee,  of  Virginia ;  my  uncle 
was  from  Lexington,  Kentucky;  that  I  came  a  stranger  into 
their  midst,  and  I  felt  confident  that  the  right  of  speech  would  be 
extended  to  us ;  that  we  were  ministers  of  the  gospel,  traveling 
without  purse  or  scrip,  dependent  upon  the  generosity  of  the 
people  for  food  and  raiment,  nor  did  we  preach  for  hire  ;  that  if" 
they  wished,  we  would  remain  there  and  lecture,  and  if  it  met 
the  approbation  of  the  people  they  could  have  the  gospel 
preached  to  them  without  money  and  without  price.  The  first 
man  that  spoke  up  was  a  saddler ;  he  said  he  was  a  poor  man, 
but  we  were  welcome  to  his  house,  giving  the  street  and  num- 
ber. About  twenty  more  responded  in  like  manner,  among  them 
some  of  the  most  wealthy  men  of  the  county.  We  went  home 
with  a  rich  farmer,  and  continued  our  labors,  having  more  calls 
than  we  could  fill.  We  were  sent  for  by  a  rich  planter,  who 
lived  about  twenty  miles  away.  I  was  anxious  to  extend  our 
labors  as  much  as  it  was  advisable. 

On  our  way  to  the  planter's  we  found  it  difficult  to  obtain 
dinner.  The  orthodox  people  did  not  like  to  associate  with 
Mormons.  I  finally  asked  them  to  direct  me  to  where  some 
infidel  or  gambler  lived.  They  wanted  to  know  what  on  earth  I 
wanted  of  them.  I  replied,  "To  get  something  to  eat ;  that 
they  were  too  liberal-minded  to  turn  a  stranger  away  from  their 
door.  That  the  Saviour  ate  with  publicans  and  sinners,  for  the 
very  reason  that  we  do,  for  the  religious  scribes  and  pharisees 
would  not  feed  him."  They  pointed  us  to  the  next  house,  where 
we  went  and  were  kindly  received  and  entertained.  The  gentle- 
man informed  us  that  he  belonged  to  no  church,  but  that  he  had 
an  interest  in  a  church,  and  said  we  were  welcome  to  preach 
there.  He  went  and  made  an  appointment  for  us  to  preach. 
We  preached  there  and  were  received  with  the  greatest  kind- 
ness. I  soon  began  to  baptize,  and  calls  came  in  on  every  side, 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  151 

when  the  papers  brought  us  the  news  of  the  assassination  of  the 
Prophet  Joseph,  and  his  brother  Hyrum. 

We  returned  immediately  to  Frankfort,  as  I  expected  the 
Elders  there,  to  learn  what  to  do.  We  all  retired  to  Maple 
Grove,  on  the  Kentucky  river,  and  kneeled  in  prayer,  and  asked 
the  Lord  to  show  us  whether  or  not  these  reports  were  true.  I 
was  the  mouth  in  prayer,  but  received  nothing  definite  in 
answer  to  my  prayer.  I  told  the  elders  to  follow  their  own  im- 
pressions, and  if  they  wished  to  do  so,  to  return  to  Nauvoo. 
Each  of  them  made  his  way  back.  I  went  and  spent  the  even- 
ing with  a  Mr.  Snow.  He  claimed  to  be  a  cousin  of  Erastus 
Snow,  who  was  favorable  to  us.  We  spent  the  evening  talking 
over  the  reported  deed.  The  next  morning,  about  ten  o'clock, 
my  mind  was  drawn  out  in  prayer.  I  felt  as  though  the  solem- 
nity of  eternity  was  resting  upon  me.  A  heavenly,  hallowed  in- 
fluence fell  upon  me,  and  continued  to  increase  until  I  was  elec- 
trified from  head  to  foot.  I  saw  a  large  personage  enter  the 
door  and  stand  before  me.  His  apparel  was  as  white  as  the 
driven  snow,  and  his  countenance  as  bright  as  the  noon-day  sun. 
I  felt  paralyzed,  and  was  speechless  and  motionless.  It  remain- 
ed with  me  but  a  moment,  then  receded  back  out  of  the  door. 
This  bright  being's  influence  drew  me  from  my  chair  and  led  me 
south  about  three  hundred  yards,  into  a  plot  of  clover  and  blue 
grass,  and  stood  over  a  persimmon  tree,  which  afforded  a  pleas- 
ant shade.  I  fell  prostrate  upon  my  face  upon  the  grass.  While 
here  I  saw  Joseph,  the  Prophet,  and  Hyrum  his  brother,  the 
Patriarch,  and  their  wounds  by  which  they  had  been  assassinated. 
This  personage  spoke  to  me  in  a  soft,  low  voice,  and  said  that 
the  Prophet  and  Patriarch  had  sealed  their  testimony  with  their 
blood.  That  our  mission  was  like  that  of  the  Apostles,  and  our 
garments  were  clear  of  the  blood  of  the  nation.  That  I  should 
return  to  Nauvoo  and  wait  until  power  was  granted  us  from  on 
high.  That  as  the  Priesthood  fell  upon  the  Apostle  Peter,  so 
should  it  rest  with  the  twelve  apostles  of  the  Church  for  the  pres- 
ent. And  thus  the  vision  closed,  and  I  gradually  returned 
back  to  my  native  element.  Rising  up  I  looked  at  my  watch 
and  saw  that  I  had  been  there  an  hour  and  a  quarter.  Return- 
ing to  the  house  my  friend  Snow  asked  me  if  I  was  ill.  I  replied 
in  the  negative.  He  said  I  was  very  pale,  that  he  saw  my 
countenance  change  while  I  sat  in  my  chair ;  that  when  I  went 
out  of  the  door  it  seemed  as  though  every  drop  of  blood  had 


left  me,  or  been  changed.  I  then  told  him  that  the  reports  in 
the  papers  were  true,  and  the  two  Saints,  the  Prophet  and  the 
Patriarch,  were  no  more.  I  asked  him  to  take  me  to  the  landing, 
as  I  wished  to  take  the  evening  packet,  as  my  labors  were  done 
in  this  county  for  the  present.  He  importuned  me  so  hard  that 
I  told  him  what  I  had  seen.  He  saddled  a  horse  for  me  and 
one  for  himself,  and  we  started,  in  company  with  several  others, 
for  the  landing.  When  we  were  about  to  start  on  the  steamer, 
Mr.  Steele,  a  brother  of  the  Captain,  introduced  me  to  the 
Captain.  About  eight  persons  demanded  baptism,  but  I  could 
not  stop,  but  advised  them  to  come  to  Nauvoo ;  among  them 
was  my  friend  Snow.  I  had  a  cabin  passage  free.  When  I 
reached  Nauvoo,  the  excitement  was  at  the  highest  point. 



Joseph  Smith,  the  Prophet,  and  Hyrum,  his  brother,  were  as- 
sassinated on  the  24th  day  of  June,  1844,  at  Carthage,  111., 
about  twenty  miles  from  Nauvoo,  while  under  the  pledged  faith 
of  Gov-.  Ford,  of  Illinois.  Gov.  I?brd  had  promised  them  pro- 
tection if  they  would  stand  trial  and  submit  to  the  judgment 
of  the  court.  By  his  orders  the  Nauvoo  Grays  were  to  guard 
the  jail  while  the  prisoners  awaited  a  trial. 

The  mob  was  headed  by  Williams  and  Sharp,  editors  of  the 
Nauvoo  Signal.  When  they  approached-  the  jail  the  guard  made 
no  resistance,  but  fell  back.  Stephen  Markharn,  who  had  been 
to  visit  the  prisoners  an  hour  or  so  before  they  were  killed,  gave 
Joseph  an  Allen  revolver.  A  part  of  the  mob  rushed  up  stairs, 
to  the  inner  door  of  the  prison,  and  burst  it  open  and  at- 
tempted to  enter.  Dr.  Richards  parried  off  the  bayonets  with 
his  heavy  cane.  Joseph  reached  out  his  hand  and  fired  off  his 
six  shots  at  the  crowd,  and  wounded  several  mortally.  Hyrum, 
who  was  trying  to  brace  against  the  door,  received  a  shot  in  the 
face  near  the  nose.  He  said,  "I  am  a  dead  man,"  and  fell. 
John  Taylor  received  a  shot,  but  fortunately  it  struck  his  watch, 


LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  153 

which  saved  his  life.  These  four  were  in  the  prison.  Taylor, 
however,  received  another  shot  and  fell.  Joseph  left  the  door, 
sprang  through  the  window,  and  cried  out,  "  Oh,  Lord,  my  God,  is 
there  no  help  for  the  widow's  son!"  as  he  sprang  from  the  win- 
dow, pierced  with  several  balls.  The  crowd  then  left  the  door 
and  ran  around  to  the  windows. 

Dr.  Richards  covered  Taylor  with  a  straw  bed.  Several  shots 
were  -fired  at  the  bed,  some  of  which  cut  his  legs.  Dr.  Richards 
looked  out  of  the  window  on  the  scene,  and  had  several  balls 
pass  through  his  clothing,  but  received  no  injury.  After  Joseph 
fell  he  was  set  up  against  the  well-curb  and  shot  again.  A 
young  man  named  Boggs  rolled  up  his  sleeves,  and  with  a  knife 
attempted  to  cut  off  his  head.  At  this  instant,  man}^  of  the  by- 
standers report  that  a  flash  of  light  encircled  the  Prophet,  and 
the  man  who  was  advancing  to  cut  off  his  head  fell  back.  They 
all  seemed  frightened,  and  fled  after  perpetrating  the  horrid 
deed.  A  runner  was  sent  to  Nauvoo  to  acquaint  Governor  Ford 
with  what  had  been  done.  The  Governor  was  terror  stricken, 
as  it  endangered  his  life,  he  being  alone,  without  a  guard,  and 
at  the  mercy  of  the  Mormons,  had  they  chosen  to  take  advantage 
of  him  while  he  was  in  Nauvoo.  Governor  Ford  advised  them 
to  be  quiet,  and  promised  that  he  would  see  that  their  murderers 
should  be  prosecuted.  He  gave  the  Mormons  a  company  of 
troops  to  go  and  bring  their  dead  friends  to  Nauvoo.  They 
were  placed  in  rough  oak  plank  boxes  and  brought  to  the  city. 
There  was  great  lamentation  and  mourning  over  them  among  the 
people.  Joseph  was  a  man  dearly  loved  by  the  Saints,  and 
blessed  with  direct  revelation  from  God,  and  was  an  honorable, 
generous,  high-minded  man.  The  remains  of  the  Prophet  and 
his  brother  were  laid  in  a  sepulcher  made  of  stone.  The  rough 
boards,  which  once  enclosed  them,  were  sawed  in  pieces  and 
-distributed  among  their  friends,  many  of  whom  had  canes  made 
of  the  pieces,  with  a  lock  of  the  hair  of  the  Prophet  set  in  the  top 
of  them,  and  those  canes  are  kept  as  sacred  relics  to  this  day. 

But  I  must  go  back  and  speak  of  the  cause  of  their  arrest.  While 
I  was  in  Kentucky  the  printing  press  and  the  grocery  of  Higbee 
&  Foster  were  declared  nuisances,  and  ordered  to  be  destroyed. 
The  owners  refused  to  comply  with  the  decision  of  the  City 
Council,  and  the  Mayor  ordered  the  press  and  type  destroyed, 
which  was  done.  The  owner  of  the  grocery  employed  John 
Eagle,  a  regular  bully,  and  others,  to  defend  it.  As  the  police 


entered,  or  attempted  to  enter,  Eagle  stood  in  the  door  and 
knocked  three  of  them  down.  As  the  third  one  fell  the  Prophet 
struck  Eagle  under  the  ear  and  brought  him  sprawling  to  the 
ground.  He  then  crossed  Eagle's  hands  and  ordered  them  to  be 
tied,  saying  that  he  could  not  see  his  men  knocked  down  while 
in  the  line  of  their  duty,  without  protecting  them. 

This  raised  the  ire  cf  those  men,  Higbee,  Foster,  and  others, 
and  they  got  out  writs  for  the  arrest  of  Joseph  and  others,  and 
laid  their  grievances  before  the  Governor.  Joseph,  knowing  the 
consequences  of  such  a  move,  concluded  to  leave  for  the  Rocky 
Mountains,  and  lay  out  a  country  where  the  Saints  would  not  be- 
molested.  He  crossed  over  into  Iowa,  with  a  few  faithful  friends 
with  him.  These  friends  begged  him  to  return  and  stand  his 
trial;  that  the  Lord  had  always  delivered  him,  and  would  again. 
He  told  them  that  if  he  returned  he  would  be  killed,  but  that  if 
he  went  away  he  would  save  his  life  and  the  Church  would  not 
be  hurt;  that  he  would  look  out  a  new  country  for  them;  that 
the  Governor  had  also  advised  him  to  do  so.  These  old  granniea 
then  accused  him  of  cowardice,  and  told  him  that  Christ  had  said 
he  would  never  leave  his  brethren  in  trouble.  He  then  asked 
them  if  his  Emma  wished  him  to  return.  They  answered,  "Yes." 
He  then  said  it  was  all  light  before  him,  and  darkness  behind 
him,  but  he  would  return,  though  he  felt  like  a  sheep  being  led 
to  ihe  slaughter.  The  following  day  he  crossed  the  river  again 
to  Illinois.  He  kissed  his  mother  in  particular,  and  told  her 
that  his  time  had  come,  and  that  he  would  seal  his  testimony 
with  his  blood.  He  advised  his  brother  Hyrum  not  to  go  with  . 
him — that  he  would  be  a  comfort  to  the  churches  when  he,  the 
Prophet,  should  be  gone.  Hyrum  said,  "No,  my  brother,  I  have 
been  with  you  in  life  and  will  be  with  you  in  death!"  The 
Prophet  then  called  Gen.  Dunham  and  had  some  private  talk 
with  him,  and  started  for  the  jail  at  Carthage.  Dunham  said 
that  the  Prophet  requested  him  to  take  his  command  and  am- 
bush it  in  a  grove  near  Carthage,  and  watch  the  movements  of 
the  crowd,  but  Dunham  dared  not  go  contrary  to  the  orders  of 
the  Governor.  He  might  have  gone  in  the  night  time,  as  he 
knew  that  Joseph  feared  treachery. 

About  this  time  the  settlements  on  Bear  Creek  and  at  Great 
Plains  had  a  difficulty  with  the  outsiders,  and  the  settlements 
were  broken  up  and  the  settlers  driven  to  Nauvoo.  The  Mor- 
mons sought  redress  uuder  the  law.  The  sheriff  tried  to  sup- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  155 

press  the  riot  by  a  posse,  but  could  not  get  a  posse  from  the 
outsiders,  and  he  was  obliged  to  summon  them  from  the  Mor- 
mons. This  made  him  unpopular  and  endangered  his  life,  which 
rendered  him  powerless.  Governor  Ford  tried  to  bring  to  jus- 
tice those  who  had  assaulted  the  Smiths,  but  public  opinion  was 
against  him,  and  the  mass  of  the  people  objected,  hence  nothing 
was  done.  Some  of  the  leaders  in  the  horrid  deed  were  mem- 
bers of  the  Legislature,  and  though  the  disturbance  was  partially 
quelled,  still  the  feeling  of  enmity  continued  to  exist  until  the 
final  breaking  up  of  the  Church. 

Every  exertion  was  made  to  push  forward  the  completion  of 
the  Temple  at  Nauvoo. 

Before  proceeding  further,  we  must  learn  who  was  to  be  the 
successor  of  the  Prophet  to  lead  the  Church.  It  was  then  un- 
derstood among  the  Saints  that  young  Joseph  was  to  succeed 
his  father,  and  that  right  justly  belonged  to  him.  Joseph,  the 
Prophet,  had  bestowed  that  right  upon  him  by  ordination,  but 
he  was  too  young  at  that  time  to  fill  the  office  and  discharge 
its  solemn  duties.  Some  one  must  fill  the  place  until  he  had 
grown  to  more  mature  age.  Sidney  Rigdon  set  up  his  claim,  he 
being  the  second  counselor  to  the  Prophet.  Rigdon  had  a  few 
backers  for  his  claims.  A  man  by  the  name  of  Strong,  who  had 
been  writing  for  the  Prophet,  set  up  his  claim  to  the  office,  by 
forging  an  appointment  from  Joseph.  Time  passed  on  until 
the  whole  twelve  got  in  from  their  missions,  and  a  conference 
was  held,  and  the  several  claimants  came  forward  with  their 
claims.  Sidne}7  Rigdon  was  the  first  who  appeared  upon  the 
stand.  He  had  been  considered  rather  in  the  back-ground  for 
sometime  previous  to  the  death  of  the  Prophet.  He  made  but 
a  weak  claim.  Strong  did  not  file  any.  Just  them  Brigham 
Young  arose  and  roared  like  a  young  lion,  imitating  the  style 
and  voice  of  Joseph,  the  Prophet.  Many  of  the  brethren  de- 
clared that  they  saw  the  mantle  of  Joseph  fall  upon  him.  I 
myself,  at  the  time,  imagined  that  I  saw  and  heard  a  strong  re- 
semblance to  the  Prophet  in  him,  and  felt  that  he  was  the  man 
to  lead  us  until  Joseph's  legal  successor  should  grow  up  to 
manhood,  when  he  should  surrender  the  Presidency  to  the  man 
who  held  the  birthright.  After  that  time,  if  he  continued  to 
claim  and  hold  the  position,  he  could  not  be  considered  anything 
else  than  an  usurper,  and  his  acts  would  not  meet  the  approba- 
tion of  Heaven.  Hence  the  course  of  Brigham  Young  has  been 


•downward  ever  since.  As  soon  as  he  got  the  reins  of  govern- 
ment in  his  hands,  he  swore  that  he  would  never  suffer  an  officer 
to  serve  a  writ  on,  or  arrest  him,  as  they  had  Joseph ;  that  he 
would  send  them  across  lots  to  h — 1,  that  dark  and  gloomy  road 
'whence  no  traveler  ever  returned.  At  that  time  I  lived  on 
^Warsaw  street,  about  one-half  of  a  mile  east  of  the  Temple. 

He  wished  me  to  remove  near  to  him,  as  I  was  one  of  the 
guards  that  were  assigned  to  guard  him.  I  had  quite  a  comfort- 
•able  brick  house  and  lot,  all  in  fine  order,  on  Warsaw  street.  He 
told  me  to  let  him  have  my  property  on  Warsaw  street  and  he 
would  buy  me  a  house  on  the  flat,  nearer  to  him.  I  did  so,  and 
he  bought  out  Samuel  D.  Frost,  and  sent  him  on  a  mission  to 
Kentucky,  where  I  had  been  laboring,  taking  his  family  with  him. 
He  had  a  nice  little  frame  house.  I  moved  into  it  and  had  it 
•finished  on  the  inside  and  made  quite  comfortable.  Brigham  at 
that  time  was  living  in  a  little  log  house,  but  was  preparing 
to  build  a  brick  house.  I  renewed  my  labors  on  the  Hall  of  the 
Seventies,  and  finished  it  in  grand  style.  It  was  then  dedicated, 
and  the  different  quorums  all  had  a  pic-nic  party  in  it,  beginning 
with  the  first  quorum,  consisting  of  seventy-seven  men  to  each 
quorum.  Brigham  said  this  hall  would  be  a  creditable  building 
in  London.  He  called  upon  me  to  organize  all  the  young  men 
into  Quorums  of  Seventy,  and  keep  the  records  for  them.  He 
appointed  me  General  Clerk  and  Recorder  of  the  Seventies, 
and  through  me  wer.e  to  be  issued  the  licenses  of  the  Quorums. 
This  was  to  be  my  compensation  for  my  services.  Joseph 
Young  was  the  senior  President  over  all  the  Quorums.  My 
responsibility  increased  daily.  I  was  offered  the  position  of 
senior  President,  I  to  select  my  six  Counselors  and  my  Quorum 
of  Seventy,  but  I  declined,  as  I  did  not  want  the  responsibility. 
I  held  then  all  the  offices  I  could  fill.  Having  finished  the  hall, 
I  was  offered,  or  rather  had  a  mission,  to  build  Joseph  Young, 
the  head  President  of  the  Seventies,  a  neat  brick  dwelling. 
Calling  upon  the  Seventies  to  assist  me,  I  soon  mustered  all  the 
help  that  was  necessary,  and  made  brick  enough  to  build  me  a 
large  dwelling  house.  Including  my  other  buildings  it  was 
ninet}*  feet  front,  two  and  a  half  stories  high,  with  a  good  cellar. 
By  the  middle  of  July,  1845,  I  had  both  houses,  the  one  for 
Joseph  Young,  and  the  one  for  myself,  finished,  ready  for  paint- 
ing. During  the  Winter  of  1844-5  a  man  by  the  name  of  Stan- 
ley took  up  a  school,  teaching  the  use  of  the  broad-sword.  At 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  157 

the  expiration  of  his  term  I  opened  three  schools,  of  fifty  schol- 
ars each,  in  the  same  exercise.  I  gave  thirteen  lessons  in  each 
school,  receiving  two  dollars  from  each  scholar.  This  made  me 
six  hundred  dollars.  I  received  twenty-five  cents  for  each 
license  that  I  issued.  With  these  means  I  purchased  paints  and 
oils  to  finish  my  dwelling  house.  I  became  very  popular  among 
the  Saints,  and  many  of  them  donated  labor  and  materials  for  my 
dwelling  house.  I  had  a  handsome  inclosure,  with  fine  orchard, 
well  of  water,  house  finished  and  grained  from  top  to  bottom,  and 
everything  in  the  finest  order.  I  was  j'oung,  strong  and  athletic. 
I  could  drive  ahead  and  work  all  day  and  stand  guard  half  of 
the  'night,  through  all  kinds  of  weather.  My  pay  for  all  this 
was  the  honor  and  trust  reposed  in  me.  To  guard  the  Presi- 
dent and  leading  men  of  the  Church  was  considered  a  great  and 
mighty  thing,  and  would  not  be  exchanged  by  those  hold  ing  that 
office  for  ten  dollars  a  night.  It  was  considered  that  this  would 
qualify  those  performing  that  duty  for  any  position  of  honor  or 
trust.  In  1845  I  was  present  at  a  trial,  when  two  young  men 
named  Hodges  were  indicted  and  tried  for  murdering  an  old 
man  and  his  wife.  The  Hodges  said  that  Brigham  Young  had 
sent  them  to  rob  the  old  people  of  their  money,  of  which  they 
were  supposed  to  have  a  large  amount. 

When  they  went  to  rob  the  house  they  found  the  inmates 
ready  for  them,  and  one  of  them  was  wounded.  Thinking  then 
that  they  would  be  detected,  they  killed  the  old  people,  and 
robbed  them  of  their  money.  One  of  the  party  became  alarmed 
and  reported  on  the  two  Hodges  boys.  Their  older  brother,  Er- 
win  Hodges,  said  that  Brigham  Young  had  gotten  his  brothers  in 
this  scrape,  and  that  he  could  get  them  out  of  it,  and  that  if  he 
did  not  do  so  his  (Brigham  Young's)  blood  would  atone  for  it. 
The  same  evening  as  Erwin  was  returning  home,  a  little  after 
dark,  he  was  met  by  two  men  who  had  been  waiting  for  him  to 
come  along.  After  some  little  conversation,  as  Erwin  was  turn- 
ing, he  was  struck  over  the  head  with  a  police  club,  and  then 
stabbed  four  times  over  the  heart.  The  murderers  then  fled, 
supposing  him  to  be  dead.  He  was,  however,  only  stunned,  and 
the  bleeding  revived  him.  He  ran  about  one  hundred  and  fifty 
yards',  and  fell  near  Brigham  Young's  gate.  He  called  for  water, 
and  also  for  Brigham  to  lay  his  hands  upon  him.  Some  person 
asked  him  who  had  done  the  deed.  He  replied  he  thought  they 


were  his  friends,  and  expired  without  finishing  the  sentence,  or 
lie  was  afraid  to  tell. 

A  neighbor  came  running  to  my  house,  knowing  that  Brigham 
was  there,  as  he  often  came  there  to  keep  away  from  suspicious 
persons.  I  started  home  with  Brigham,  and  while  on  the  way,  I 
remarked  to  him  that  it  was  a  shocking  affair.  After  a  mo- 
ment's hesitation,  he  replied  that  it  was  not  any  worse  for 
Hodges  to  be  killed  than  it  would  have  been  for  him  (Young)  to 
have  his  blood  shed.  This  answer  recalled  to  my  mind  the 
threat  that  Erwin  had  made  during  the  day,  at  the  trial  of  his 
brothers,  who  were  sentenced  and  hung  at  Burlington,  Iowa. 
These  men  who  turned  away  from  the  Church  were  the  most  bit- 
ter enemies  to  Brigham  Young,  and  sought  every  opportunity  to 
entrap  him.  They  had  a  list  of  their  most  private  friends  to  en- 
snare him,  and  find  an  occasion  to  arrest  him  with  a  warrant. 
This  caused  Brigham  Young  to  keep  hidden  as  much  as  possible. 
In  the  meantime,  his  "destroying  angels"  were  dilligently  on  the 
watch,  and  every  suspicious  man  was  closely  tracked  up,  and  no 
strategy  neglected  to  find  out  his  business.  If  they  were  sus- 
picious that  any  man  wanted  to  serve  a  writ  on  his  Honor, 
Brigham  Young,  they  were  careful  never  to  let  that  man  escape. 
Sometimes  they  would  treat  them  with  great  kindness,  and  in 
-that  way  decoy  them  to  some  out-of-the-way  place,  and  "save  " 
them,  as  they  called  it.  They  were  not  only  on  the  track  of 
officers,  but  all  suspected  characters  who  might  come  on  to  spy 
out  what  was  going  on;  for  instance,  the  consecrating  of  the 
stock  of  their  enemies,  by  the  Saints,  and  driving  it  in  at  night 
and  butchering  it,  and  distributing  it  among  their  friends. 
Joseph  Smith  in  his  life-time  said  that  a  man  who  would  steal 
from  a  Gentile,  would  steal  from  his  brother  if  he  could  not  steal 
from  any  one  else ;  that  he  deprecated  this  petty  thieving,  and 
that  the  Saints  should  wait  until  the  proper  time,  and  then  steal 
back  the  whole  State  of  Missouri  and  get  their  homes  back  with 
interest.  I  knew  of  several  men  who  were  put  out  of  the  way  in 
this  manner,  though  I  never  saw  any  of  them  killed.  Besides 
there  were  enough  willing  tools  to  do  all  this  kind  of  dirty  jobs 
without  me,  though  it  was  entrusted  to  the  police  to  do,  they 
being  sworn  to  secrecy.  If  any  of  them  was  caught  in  a  scrape, 
it  was  the  duty  of  the  rest  to  unite  and  swear  him  out.  It  was 
•claimed  that  the  Gentiles  had  no  right  to  administer  an  oath. 
I  have  heard  men  say  they  would  swear  a  house  full  of  lies  to 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  159 

save  one  of  the  brethren.  Whatever  the  police  were  ordered  to 
do,  the}'  were  to  do  and  ask  no  questions.  Whether  it  was 
right  or  wrong  mattered  not  to  them,  they  were  responsible  only 
to  their  leaders,  and  they  were  amenable  only  to  God.  I  was  a 
•confidant  among  them,  and  they  let  me  into  the  secret  of  all  they 
did,  arid  they  looked  to  me  to  speak  a  good  word  for  them  with 
Brigham,  as  they  were  ambitious  to  please  him  and  obtain  his 
blessing.  I  knew  that  I  was  in  their  full  confidence,  and  the 
•captain  of  the  police  never  asked  me  to  do  anything  he  knew  I 
was  averse  to  doing.  Under  Brigham  Young,  Hosea  Stout  was 
Chief  of  Police  They  showed  me  where  they  buried  a  man  in 
a  lot  near  the  Masonic  Hall.  They  said  they  got  him  tight  and 
were  joking  with  him  while  some  men  were  digging  his  grave. 
They  asked  him  to  go  with  them  into  a  pit  of  corn,  saying  it 
was  fully  grown.  They  told  him  they  had  a  jug  of  whiskey 
cached  out  there.  They  led  him  to  his  grave,  and  told  him  to 
get  down  there,  and  hand  up  the  jug,  and  he  should  have  the 
first  drink.  .As  he  bent  over  to  get  down,  Rosswell  Stevens 
struck  him  with  his  police  cane  on  the  back  of  the  head  and 
dropped  him.  They  then  tightened  a  cord  around  his  neck  to 
shut  off  his  wind,  and  then  they  covered  him  up,  and  set  the  hill 
of  corn  back  on  his  grave  to  cover  up  any  tracks  that  might  lead 
to  his  discovery. 

Another  man  they  took  in  a  boat,  about  two  o'clock  at  night, 
for  a  ride.  When  out  in  the  channel  of  the  river,  the  man  who 
sat  behind  him  struck  him  upon  the  head  and  stunned  him. 
They  then  tied  a  rope  around  his  neck  and  a  stone  to  the  other 
end  of  the  rope,  and  sent  him  to  the  bottom  of  Mississippi 
River.  There  was  another  man  whose  name  I  have  forgotten,  who 
was  a  great  annoyance  to  the  Saints  at  Nauvoo.  He  generally 
brought  a  party  with  him  when  he  came  to  the  city,  and  could 
threaten  them  with  the  law,  but  he  alwa}rs  managed  to  get  away 
safely.  They  (the  Saints)  finally  concluded  to  entrust  his  case 
to  Howard  Egan,  a  policeman,  who  was  thought  to  be  pretty 
long  headed.  He  took  a  party  of  chosen  men,  or  "  destroying 
angels,"  and  went  to  La  Harp,  a  town  near  the  residence  of  this 
man,  and  watched  an  opportunity  when  he  would  pass  along. 
They  "saved"  him,  and  buried  him  in  a  wash-out  at  night.  In 
a  short  time  afterwards,  a  thunder  storm  washed  the  earth  away 
and  exposed  the  remains.  They  also  told  me  of  an  attempt  to  rob 
an  old  man  and  one  son  who  lived  on  the  Bear  River.  Ebenezer 


Richardson,  an  old  tried  veteran  and  policeman,  had  charge  of 
this  mission.  Four  of  them  went  near  the  residence  of  the  old 
folks.  Two  of  them  went  to  the  house  to  get  lodgings  and  re- 
freshments. The  old  gentleman  told  them  that  he  was  not  pre- 
pared to  entertain  them,  and  directed  them  to  a  neighbor  who 
lived  a  mile  away.  They  insisted  upon  stopping,  and  said  they 
were  weary  and  would  lie  down  upon  their  blankets.  The  fact 
was  that  the  old  man  was  suspicious  of  them  and  utterly  re- 
fused to  keep  them.  They  then  went  away  and  counseled  over 
the  matter,  and  concluded  to  wait  until  they  were  all  asleep, 
then  burst  in  the  door  before  they  could  have  time  to  resist. 
The  old  man  and  his  son  being  sure  that  they  had  come  for 
the  purpose  of  robbing  them,  had  expected,  and  were  waiting 
for  their  return.  Each  of  them  had  a  gun.  Richardson  and  hi& 
party  waited  until  about  midnight,  when  they  slipped  carefully 
to  the  house  and  listened.  All  was  still.  Then  Richardson  and 
another  man  burst  in  the  door.  As  the  robbers  were  in  the  act 
of  entering  the  house,  the  old  man  and  his  son  both  fired. 
Richardson's  arm  was  broken  just  below  the  elbow;  the  other 
man  received  a  slight  wound.  The  reception  was  rather  hot 
and  they  backed  water  and  were  glad  to  get  away.  Richardson 
wore  a  cloak  to  conceal  his  broken  arm.  The  matter  was  kept 
a  profound  secret. 

I  was  in  Brigham  Young's  office  about  this  time.  His  brother 
Joseph,  and  quite  a  number  of  others  were  present,  when  Brig- 
ham  raised  his  hand  and  said.  "  I  swear  by  the  eternal  Heavens 
that  I  have  unsheathed  my  sword,  and  I  will  never  return  it  until 
the  blood  of  the  Prophet  Joseph  and  Hyrum,  and  those  who 
were  slain  in  Missouri,  is  avenged.  This  whole  nation  is  guilty 
of  shedding  their  blood,  by  assenting  to  the  deed,  and  holding 
its  peace."  "Now,"  said  he,  "betray  me,  any  of  you  who 
dare  to  do  so!"  Furthermore,  every  one  who  had  passed 
through  their  endowments,  in  the  Temple,  were  placed  under 
the  most  sacred  obligations  to  avenge  the  blood  of  the  Prophet, 
whenever  an  opportunity  offered,  and  to  teach  their  children  to 
do  the  same,  thus  making  the  entire  Mormon  people  sworn  and 
avowed  enemies  of  the  American  nation. 

They  teach  the  rising  generation  to  look  upon  every  Gentile 
or  outsider,  as  their  enemy,  and  never  to  suffer  one  of  their 
number  to  be  sentenced  by  a  Gentile  court.  They  have  even 
gone  so  far  as  to  teach  them  not  to  allow  a  Gentile  Judge  to- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  161 

hang  a  Mormon  dog.  That  they  have  no  right  to  come  into  this 
Territory,  and  to  sit  in  judgment  upon  the  Saints.  That  the 
Saints  are  to  judge  the  world  instead  of  the  officers  of  the  world 
judging  them.  I  once  thought  that  I  never  could  be  induced  to 
occupy  the  position  that  I  now  do,  to  expose  the  wickedness 
and  corruption  of  the  man  whom  I  once  looked  upon  as  my 
spiritual  guide,  as  I  then  considered  Brigham  Young  to  be. 
Nothing  could  have  compelled  me  to  this  course  save  an  honest 
sense  of  the  duty  I  owe  myself,  my  God,  the  people  at  large, 
and  my  brethren  and  sisters  who  are  treading  the  downward 
path  that  will  lead  them  to  irretrievable  ruin,  unless  they  retrace 
their  steps  and  throw  off  the  yoke  of  the  tyrant,  who  has  long 
usurped  the  right  of  rule  that  justly  belongs  to  the  son  of 
Joseph,  the  Prophet.  I  have  been  driven  to  the  wall  by  circum- 
stances beyond  my  control,  and  have  been  forced  to  resort  to 
the  first  law  of  nature,  self-protection.  Perhaps  this  has  served 
to  open  my  eyes  to  a  sense  of  duty.  I  confess  I  have  been 
deeply  steeped  in  fanaticism,  even  more  so  than  I  was  aware  of, 
until  I  felt  the  bitter  pangs  of  its  direful  influence  upon  me. 

I  heard  Mother  Smith,  the  mother  of  Joseph  the  Prophet, 
plead  with  Brigham  Young,  with  tears,  not  to  rob  young  Joseph 
of  his  birthright,  which  his  father,  the  Prophet,  bestowed  upon 
him  previous  to  his  death.  That  young  Joseph  was  to  succeed 
his  father  as  the  leader  of  the  Church,  and  it  was  his  right  in  the 
line  of  the  priesthood.  "I  know  it,"  replied  Brigham,  "don't 
worry  or  take  any  trouble,  Mother  Smith ;  by  so  doing  you  are 
only  laying  the  knife  to  the  throat  of  the  child.  If  it  is  known 
that  he  is  the  rightful  successor  of  his  father,  the  enemy  of  the 
Priesthood  will  seek  his  life.  He  is  too  young  to  lead  this  peo- 
ple now,  but  when  he  arrives  at  mature  age  he  shall  have  his 
place.  No  one  shall  rob  him  of  it."  This  conversation  took 
place  in  the  Masonic  Hall  at  Nauvoo,  in  1845.  Several  persons 
were  then  present. 

In  the  meantime  Brigham  had  sought  to  establish  himself  as 
the  leader  of  this  Church.  Many  years,  however,  passed  away 
before  he  dared  assume  or  claim  to  be  the  rightful  successor  of 
Joseph,  the  Seer,  Prophet,  and  Revelator  to  the  Church.  When 
the  time  came,  according  to  his  own  words,  for  Joseph  to  re- 
ceive his  own,  Joseph  came,  but  Brigham  received  him  not.  He 
said,  as  an  excuse,  that  Joseph  had  not  the  true  spirit.  That 
his  mother  had  married  a  Gentile  lawyer,  and  had  infused  the 


Gentile  spirit  into  him.  That  Joseph  denied  the  doctrine  of  his 
father,  celestial  marriage.  Brigham  closed  the  door  and  barred 
him  from  preaching  in  the  Tabernacle,  and  raised  a  storm  of 
persecution  against  him.  He  took  Joseph's  cousin,  George  A.' 
Smith,  as  his  first  counselor.  This  he  did  as  a  matter  of  policy 
to  prevent  George  A.  from  using  his  influence  in  favor  of 
Joseph  as  the  leader  of  the  people,  which  he  otherwise  would 
have  done.  He  also  ordained  John  Smith,  the  son  of  Hyrum 
the  Patriarch,  to  the  office  of  Patriarch  to  the  Church,  and  his 
brother  Joseph  F.  Smith,  to  the  office  of  one  of  the  Twelve 
Apostles,  thus  securing  their  influence  and  telling  them  that  had 
young  Joseph  been  willing  to  act  in  harmony  with  them,  the 
heads  of  the  Church,  he  could  have  had  his  place,  but  that  he 
was  too  much  of  a  Gentile  ever  to  lead  this  people.  Brigham 
said  he  had  some  hopes  that  David,  a  brother  of  young  Joseph, 
when  he  became  older,  might  occupy  the  place  of  his  father,  but 
Joseph  never  would.  In  this  low,  cunning,  intriguing  way  he 
blinded  the  eyes  of  the  people,  and  gained  another  advantage 
over  them  in  establishing  himself  and  family  at  the  head  of  the 
Church,  as  the  favored  of  the  Lord.  Strange  as  it  may  appear, 
yet  it  is  true,  that  many  of  this  people  are  blind  to  the  intrigues 
of  this  heartless  impostor.  They  suffer  themselves  to  be  bound 
in  fetters  of  bondage,  and  surrender  the  last  principle  of  man- 
hood and  independence,  and  make  themselves  slaves  to  that 
corrupt  usurper  and  his  profligate  family,  who  have  robbed  the 
fatherless,  and  usurped  the  right  to  rule  that  belongs  to  another ; 
and  who  has  been  trying  to  put  his  profligate  sons  at  the  head  of 
this  Church,  to  rule  over  this  people. 

Now  let  us  for  a  moment  divest  ourselves  of  fanaticism,  which 
is  the  result  of  ignorance,  and  look  from  the  stand-point  of 
justice  and  reason,  and  compare  the  conduct  and  character  of 
the  two  families.  Young  Joseph,  the  legal  heir  of  the  Prophet, 
because  he  denies  polygamy,  or  celestial  marriage,  is  accused 
of  not  following  in  the  footsteps  of  his  father,  which  Brigham 
says  renders  him  unworthy  to  be  a  leader  of  this  people.  How 
much  better  is  Brigham's  son,  John  W.  Young?  Has  he  fol- 
lowed in  the  footsteps  of  the  Prophet?  Every  one  acquaint- 
ed with  his  heartless  conduct  must  answer,  No!  On  the 
contrary,  he  turned  away  the  bride  of  his  youth,  and  his  off- 
spring by  her,  and  also  his  other  wives  that  were  given  him  in 
the  celestial  order  of  marriage,  and  then  took  up  with  an  actress 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  163 

from  the  stage !  A  woman  not  even  of  the  faith  of  the  Mormon 

Notwithstanding  all  this  he  is  put  forward  by  his  father,  Brig- 
ham,  as  his  right-hand  man,  to  guide  the  destinies  of  this 
Church  and  people.  Oh!  consistency,  where  art  thou!  and 
justice!  where  hast  thou  fled!  Have  this  people  lost  their  under- 
standing? Does  it  require  inspiration  to  detect  the  fraud  and 
injustice  at  the  bottom  of  this  move?  I  think  not.  But  it  does 
require  a  great  deal  more  fanaticism  than  I  want  to  possess  to 
make  me  believe  that  God  or  justice  has  anything  to  do  with  it. 
I  am  honest  in  saying  that  it  is  from  beneath,  and  none  but  a 
depraved,  heartless  wretch,  would  stoop  so  low  as  to  use  religion 
as  a  cloak  to  dupe  and  deceive  the  people.  To  accomplish  so 
corrupt  a  purpose  he  has  robbed  the  rich  and  the  poor  of  this 
people.  He  has  made  them  pay  tithes  and  tributes  to  himself. 
He  has  made  himself  rich  and  waxed  fat,  until  he  really  imagines 
himself  to  be  the  Lord's  vicegerent  here  on  earth,  and  that  no 
man  has  the  right  to  interfere  with  him.  He  is  above  the  law — 
he  is  the  Lord's  anointed!  Oh!  vain  man,  go  hide  thyself,  and 
consider  from  whom  thou  hast  received  the  succession,  and 
through  whose  hard  earnings  thou  hast  been  made  rich. 

I  must  not  forget  to  make  mention  of  the  qualifications  of 
young  Briggy,  the  son  of  the  present  leader  of  the  Church.  He 
is  considered  by  his  father  fully  qualified  to  be  his  successor ;  to 
stand  at  the  head  of  the  Church  and  lead  the  Saints.  This  amia- 
ble son  of  the  Prophet  Brigham,  while  on  a  mission  to  England, 
•concluded  that  he  would  measure  arms  with  Queen  Victoria  and 
the  Prince  of  Wales,  by  driving  as  many  horses  as  she  did  to  her 
carriage.  This  was  a  violation  of  law.  The  Queen  very  soon 
gave  Prince  Briggy  to  understand  that  she  was  the  ruler  of  that 
kingdom  ;  that  if  his  father  could  measure  arms  with  the  Presi- 
dent of  the  United  States,  his  son  oould  not  do  so  with  her. 
Prince  Brig  was  shut  up  in  jail,  and  there  he  was  to  remain 
until  the  fine  for  his  offence  was  paid.  I  have  been  told  that 
$26,000  were  paid  from  the  perpetual  emigration  fund  for  his  re- 
lease. This  emigration  fund  is  collected  from  the  people  for  the 
gathering  together  of  poor  saints,  but  the  liberty  of  this  worthy 
young  man  was  of  more  consequence  than  the  gathering  in  of 
poor  saints.  Perhaps  it  is  this  ambitious  act  of  the  Prophet's 
son  that  has  qualified  him  to  act  as  a  leader !  How  does  the 
character  of  Smith's  sons  compare  with  that  of  Brigham  Young's 


sons?  The  one  were  peaceable,  law-abiding  citizens,  the  others 
are  spendthrifts  and  ambitious,  regardless  of  law  or  order — just 
like  their  father,  full  of  self-esteem,  miserly  and  bigoted.  I  re- 
member twenty  years  ago,  among  the  first  members  of  the  Church, 
it  was  all  the  talk  that  young  Joseph  would  soon  take  the  leader- 
ship of  the  Church,  as  the  rightful  successor  of  his  father,  the 
Prophet.  At  that  time  it  never  was  thought  that  Brighain 
Young  intended  to  hold  the  place  permanently,  and  establish 
himself  and  profligate  family  at  the  head  of  the  Church,  as  he 
has  done,  to  make  slaves  of  the  Saints,  to  keep  and  sup- 
port himself  and  worthless  sons.  The  Saints  have  suffered 
themselves  to  be  led  step  by  step  downward,  lulled  to  sleep  by 
false  promises  and  phantoms  that  can  never  be  realized.  They 
are  powerless,  and  having  lost  their  self-control,  they  cannot  re- 
sist the  charms  by  which  the  serpent  captivates  his  victims  and 
holds  them  fast  under  his  influence.  Oh !  that  I  had  the  power 
of  speech  to  touch  the  understanding  of  my  brethren  and  sis- 
ters, to  wake  them  from  the  stupor  and  lethargy  that  has  over- 
come them,  through  the  subtle  cunning  of  the  devil,  that  I  fear 
has  already  made  the  bonds  of  many  of  them  so  strong  they  can 
never  loose  them. 

But  I  must  stop  and  take  a  retrospective  view  of  things  in 
Nauvoo,  that  I  have  not  yet  mentioned,  trusting  to  my  worthy 
friend  Bishop  to  place  these  sentiments  which  I  have  just  writ- 
ten in  their  proper  place  in  my  history.  I  have  felt  impressed  to 
write  them  while  I  could  do  so,  not  knowing  that  I  would  have 
the  liberty  to  bring  up  all  the  circumstances  to  that  date. 



IN  THE  Winter  of  1845  meetings  were  held  all  over  the  city 
of  Nauvoo,  and  the  spirit  of  Elijah  was  taught  in  the  differ- 
ent families  as  a  foundation  to  the  order  of  celestial  marriage, 
as  well  as  the  law  of  adoption.  Many  families  entered  into  cov- 
enants with  each  other — the  man  to  stand  by  his  wife  and  the 
woman  to  cleave  unto  her  husband,  and  the  children  to  be 
adopted  to  the  parents.  I  was  one  of  those  who  entered  into 
covenants  to  stand  by  my  family,  to  cleave  to  them  through  time 
and  eternity.  I  am  proud  to  say  I  have  kept  my  obligations 
sacred  and  inviolate  to  this  day.  ,  Others  refused  to  enter  into 
these  obligations,  but  agreed  to  separate  from  each  other,  divid- 
ing their  substance,  and  mutually  dissolving  their  former  rela- 
tions on  friendly  terms.  Some  have  mutually  agreed  to  exchange 
wives  and  have  been  sealed  to  each  other  as  husband  and  wife 
by  virtue  and  authority  of  the  holy  priesthood.  One  of  Brig- 
ham's  brothers,  Lorenzo  Young,  now  a  bishop,  made  an  exchange 
of  wives  with  Mr.  Decker,  the  father  of  the  Mr.  Decker  who  now 
has  an  interest  in  the  cars  running  to  York.  They  both  seemed 
happy  in  the  exchange  of  wives.  All  are  considered  aliens  to 
the  commonwealth  of  Israel  until  adopted  into  the  kingdom  by 
baptism,  and  their  children  born  unto  them  before  the  baptism 
of  the  parents  are  to  be  adopted  to  the  parents,  and  become 
heirs  to  the  kingdom  through  the  law  of  adoption.  But  the 
children  that  are  born1  to  parents  after  the  baptism  of  the  parents 
are  legal  heirs  to  the  kingdom. 

This  doctrine  extends  much  further.  All  persons  are  required 
to  be  adopted  to  some  of  the  leading  men  of  the  Church.  In  this, 
however,  they  have  the  right  of  choice,  thus  forming  the  links  of 
the  chain  of  priesthood  back  to  the  father,  Adam,  and  so  on  to 
the  second  coming  of  the  Messiah.  Time  will  not  allow  me  to 


enter  into  the  full  details  of  this  subject.  The  ordinance  of 
celestial  marriage  was  extensively  practiced  by  men  and  women 
who  had  covenanted  to  live  together,  and  a  few  men  had  dispen- 
sations granted  them  to  enter  into  plural  marriages,  which  were 
taught  to  be  the  stepping-stone  to  celestial  exaltation.  Without 
plural  marriage  a  man  could  not  attain  lo  the  fullness  of  the 
holy  priesthood  and  be  made  equal  to  our  Saviour.  Without  it 
he  could  only  attain  to  the  position  of  the  angels,  who  are  ser- 
vants and  messengers  to  those  who  attain  to  the  Godhead. 

These  inducements  caused  every  true  believer  to  exert  him- 
self to  attain  that  exalted  position,  both  men  and  women.  In 
many  cases  the  women  would  do  the  "sparking,"  through  the 
assistance  of  the  first  wife. 

My  second  wife,  Nancy  Bean,  was  the  daughter  of  a  wealthy 
farmer,  who  lived  near  Quincy,  Illinois.  She  saw  me  on  a  mis- 
sion and  heard  me  preach  at  her  father's  house.  She  came  to 
Nauvoo  and  stayed  at  my  house  three  months,  and  grew  in  favor 
and  was  sealed  to  me  in  the  Winter  of  1845.  My  third  and 
fourth  wives  were  sealed  to  me  soon  afterward,  in  my  own 
house.  My  third  wife,  Louisa,  is  now  the  first  wife  of  D.  H. 
Wells.  She  was  then  a  young  lady,  gentle  and  beautiful,  and 
we  never  had  an  angry  word  while  she  lived  with  me.  She  and 
her  sister  Emeline  were  both  under  promise  to  be  sealed  to  me. 
One  day  Brigham  Young  saw  Emeline  and  fell  in  love  with  her* 
He  asked  me  to  resign  my  claims  in  his  favor,  which  I  did,, 
though  it  caused  a  great  struggle  in  my  mind  to  do  so,  for  I 
loved  her  dearly.  I  made  known  to  Emeline  Brigham's  wishr 
and  even  went  to  her  father's  house  several  times  and  used  my 
influence  with  her  to  induce  her  to  become  a  member  of  Brig- 
ham's  family.  The  two  girls  did  not  want  to  separate  from  each 
other ;  however,  they  both  met  at  my  house  at  an  appointed 
time  and  Emeline  was  sealed  to  Brigham,  and  Louisa  was  sealed 
to  me.  Amasa  Lyman  officiated  at  the  ceremony.  At  the 
same  time  Sarah  C.  Williams,  the  girl  that  I  had  baptized  in 
Tennessee,  when  but  a  child,  at  the  house  of  Wm.  Pace,  and 
who  came  to  Nauvoo,  stood  up  and  claimed  a  place  in  my  fam- 
ily. She  is  yet  with  me  and  is  the  mother  of  twelve  children. 
She  has  been  a  kind  wife,  mother  and  companion.  By  Louisa 
I  had  one  son  born,  who  died  at  the  age  of  twelve.  She  lived 
with  me  about  one  year  after  her  babe  was  born.  She  then  told 
me  that  her  parents  were  never  satisfied  to  have  one  daughter 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  167 

sealed  to.  the  man  highest  in  authority  and  the  other  below  her. 
Their  constant  teasing  caused  us  to  separate,  not  as  enemies, 
however.  Our  friendship  was  never  broken.  Her  change  made 
her  more  miserable  than  ever.  After  we  got  into  Salt  Lake  Val- 
ley she  offered  to  come  back  to  me,  but  Brigham  would  not  con- 
sent to  her  so  doing.  Her  sister  became  a  favorite  with  Brig- 
ham,  and  remained  so  until  he  met  Miss  Folsom,  who  captivated 
him  to  a  degree  that  he  neglected  Emeline,  and  she  died  broken- 

Plural  marriages  were  not  made  public.  They  had  to  be  kept 
still.  A  young  man  did  not  know  when  he  was  talking  to  a  sin- 
gle woman.  As  far  as  Brigham  Young  was  concerned,  he  had 
no  wives  at  his  house,  except  his  first  wife,  or  the  one  that  he 
said  was  his  first  wife.  Many  a  night  have  I  gone  with  him, 
arm  in  arm,  and  guarded  him  while  he  spent  an  hour  or  two  with 
his  young  brides,  then  guarded  him  home  and  guarded  his  house 
until  one  o'clock,  when  I  was  relieved.  He  used  to  meet  his 
beloved  Emeline  at  my  house. 

In  the  Spring  of  1845  Rachel  Andora  was  sealed  to  me — the 
woman  who  has  stood  by  me  in  all  my  troubles.  A  truer  woman 
was  never  born.  She  has  been  by  me  true,  as  I  was  to  Brigham, 
and  has  always  tried  to  make  my  will  her  pleasure.  I  raised 
her  in  my  family  from  five  years  of  aget  She  was  a  sister  to  my 
first  wife.  Her  mother,  Abigail  Sheffer,  was  sealed  to  me  for  an 
eternal  state.  The  old  lady  has  long  since  psfcsed  away,  and 
entered  into  eternal  rest  and  joy. 

But  to  resume  the  narrative  of  events  at  Nauvoo.  In  the  year 
1845  the  building  of  the  Temple  was  progressing.  Through  the 
Summer  trouble  was  brewing  among  all  the  Saints,  both  in  Illi- 
nois and  Iowa.  Many  of  my  friends  from  Tennessee,  and  some 
from  Kentucky,  emigrated  and  joined  us  during  that  Summer 
and  Fall,  as  well  as  some  from  other  places.  An  effort  was  made 
to  complete  the  Nauvoo  House  if  possible,  but  finding  the  storm 
approaching  too  fast  the  work  on  the  House  was  abandoned,  and 
all  hands  put  at  work  on  the  Temple.  We  were  anxious  to  com- 
plete the  Temple,  in  order  that  we  might  receive  our  promised 
blessings  in  it  before  we  commenced  our  exodus  across  the  plains 
in  search  of  a  home,  we  knew  not  where.  Our  time  was  limited, 
and  our  Christian  friends  who  surrounded  us,  whose  ire  had  been 
aroused  to  the  highest  pitch,  were  not  likely  to  allow  us  to  re- 
main, longer  than  our  appointed  time.  The  killing  of  the  Smiths 


had  aroused  their  friends  to  acts  of  violence,  and  many  whose 
houses  were  burned  and  property  destroyed,  who  had  come  to 
Nauvoo  for  protection  and  shelter,  retaliated  by  driving  in  stock 
from  the  range  to  subsist  upon.  No  doubt  the  stock  of  many  an 
innocent  man  was  driven  away,  and  this  served  to  bring  others 
into  troubie. 

Thus  things  grew  worse  the  longer  the  Saints  remained  at  Nau- 
voo. It  was  an  unfortunate  matter,  and  much  of  the  trouble  that 
came  upon  the  Church  was  brought  on  through  the  folly  and  fa- 
naticism of  the  Saints.  I  have  seen  relentless  cruelty  practiced 
by  those  who  directed  this  cattle  stealing.  I  cannot  call  it  any- 
thing else,  though  they  called  it  getting  back  what  had  been 
taken  from  them.  It  caused  many  strangers  to  come  to  the  city 
to  look  for  traces  of  their  cattle.  A  company  was  organized, 
called  the  "  Whittlers."  They  had  long  knives,  and  when  any  of 
these  strangers  would  come  to  town,  they  would  gather  around 
him,  and  whittle ;  none  of  them  saying  a  word,  no  matter  what 
question  was  asked.  They  would  thus  watch  any  stranger,  gath- 
ering close  to  him,  until  they  finally  ran  him  out  of  town.  I 
never  took  part  in  such  low,  dirty  doings.  I  was  taught  from  a 
child  to  respect  all  persons,  as  every  spirit  begets  its  like.  I 
never  did  think  any  good  came  of  such  conduct.  A  man  must 
respect  himself,  or  he  can  never  command  others. 

During  the  fall  of  18*45  companies  were  formed  for  making 
wagons  for  the  contemplated  move,  as  a  great  many  of  the 
Saints  were  poor,  and  had  neither  wagons  nor  teams.  Teams 
wore  more  easily  obtained  than  wagons.  People  traded  off  their 
lots  and  loose  property  for  teams.  Many  of  the  wagons  bad 
wooden  hoops  in  place  of  tires,  for  the  want  of  iron,  though  iron 
and  everything  else  was  at  the  lowest  price.  Common  labor  was 
only  twenty-five  cents  per  day,  but  money  was  hard  to  get. 

About  the  1st  of  December,  1845,  we  commenced  filling  up 
the  rooms  for  giving  endowments.  I  assisted  in  putting  up  the 
stoves,  curtains  and  other  things.  It  was  about  fifteen  days  be- 
fore we  got  everything  ready.  I  must  mention  that  when  the 
doctrine  of  baptizing  for  the  dead  was  first  introduced,  the 
families  met  together,  down  by  the  river  side,  and  one  of  their 
number,  of  the  order  of  the  Melchisedek  Priesthood,  officiated. 
They  were  baptized  in  behalf  of  all  they  could  remember,  the 
men  for  the  men,  and  the  women  for  the  women.  But  when  the 
fount  was  ready  in  the  Temple,  which  rested  on  the  twelve 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  169 

carved  oxen,  they  went  and  were  baptized  in  it,  after  the  same 
order,  except  that  a  clerk  must  make  a  record  of  it,  and  two 
witnesses  must  be  present,  and  the  name  of  the  person  baptized 
and  for  whom  he  or  she  was  baptized,  and  the  date  of  baptism, 
together  with  the  name  of  the  officiating  elder,  and  the  name  of 
the  clerk  and  witnesses  entered  in  the  register  or  record.  All 
persons  who  are  baptized  must  also  be  confirmed.  Male  and 
female  alike  pass  through  the  same  ceremony,  and  the  fact 
entered  in  the  record  kept  for  that  purpose. 

This  is  done  for  all  who  have  died  without  the  knowledge  of 
the  gospel.  As  Jesus,  while  his  body  lay  in  the  tomb,  went  and 
preached  to  the  spirits,  in  the  spirit  world,  the  doctrine  of  his 
gospel  to  all  who  had  died  before  hearing  it,  since  the  days  of 
Noah,  so  through  baptism  for  the  dead,  can  our  friends,  and 
those  who  have  gone  before  us,  be  made  partakers  of  this  new 
and  last  gospel  sent  to  us,  and  receive  its  blessings  and  eternal 
reward.  No  person,  however,  is  allowed  the  privilege  of  this 
baptismal  fount,  or  their  washings  or  anointings,  unless  they 
bave  paid  their  tithings  promptly,  and  have  a  certificate  to  that 
effect.  In  many  cases,  also,  where  men  require  it,  their  just 
debts  must  be  settled  before  they  are  allowed  to  be  baptized, 
washed  or  anointed.  In  the  order  of  Endowment,  a  list  is 
made  out  the  day  previous,  of  those  who  wish  to  take  their  en- 
dowments. Every  person  is  required  to  wash  himself  clean, 
from  head  to  foot.  Also  to  prepare  and  bring  a  good  supply  of 
food,  of  the  best  quality,  for  themselves  and  those  who  labor  in 
the  house  of  the  Lord.  In  the  latter  about  twenty-five  persons 
are  required  in  the  different  departments  to  attend  to  the  wash- 
ing, anointing,  blessing,  ordaining,  and  sealing.  From  twenty- 
five  to  fifty  persons  are  passed  through  in  twenty-four  hours. 

I  was  among  the  first  to  receive  my  washings  and  anoint- 
ings, and  even  received  my  second  anointing,  which  made  me 
an  equal  in  the  order  of  the  Priesthood,  with  the  right  and  au- 
thority to  build  up  the  kingdom  in  all  the  earth,  and  power  to 
fill  any  vacancy  that  might  occur.  I  have  officiated  in  all  the 
different  branches,  from  the  highest  to  the  lowest.  There  were 
about  forty  men  who  attained  to  that  order  in  the  Priesthood, 
including  the  twelve  Apostles  and  the  first  presidency,  and  to 
them  was  intrusted  the  keeping  of  the  records.  I  was  the  head 
clerk;  Franklin  D.  Richards  was  my  assistant  clerk.  My  office 
was  in  room  number  one,  at  President  Young's  apartments. 


I  kept  a  record  of  all  the  sealing?,  anointings,  marriages  and1 

I  was  the  second  one  adopted  to  Brigham  Young.  I  should 
have  been  his  first  adopted  son,  being  the  first  that  proposed  it 
to  him,  but  always  ready  to  give  preference  to  those  in  author- 
ity, I  placed  A.  P.  Rockwood's  name  first  on  the  list.  I  also 
had  my  children  adopted  to  me  in  the  Temple.  Brigham  Young 
had  his  children  adopted  to  himself,  and  we  were  the  only  ones, 
to  my  knowledge,  that  had  our  children  so  adopted  at  the  Tem- 
ple at  Nauvoo.  As  time  would  not  permit  attending  to  all  the 
people,' the  business  was  rushed  through  day  and  night. 

Officers  were  on  the  alert  to  arrest  Brigham  Young.  He  often 
hid  in  the  different  apartments  of  the  Temple.  One  day  about 
sunset,  an  officer,  knowing  that  he  was  in  the  Temple,  waited 
for  him  to  come  out,  as  his  carriage  was  waiting  for  him  at  the 
door.  Brigham  threw  his  cloak  around  "Wm.  Miller,  who  resem- 
bled Brigham  in  build  and  stature,  and  sent  him  to  the  carriage 
with  Geo.  D.  Grant,  his  driver.  As  they  got  to  the  carriage, 
Grant  said  to  Miller,  " Mr.  Young,  are  you  ready  to  go? "  As 
he  spoke  to  him,  the  officer  said:  "Mr.  Young,  I  have  a 
writ  for  you.  I  want  you  to  go  with  me  to  Carthage,"  twenty 
miles  distant.  Miller  replied,  "Shall  I  take  my  carriage?'* 
The  officer  answered,  "  You  may  if  you  choose,  and  I  will  pay 
the  bill." 

Grant  then  drove  Miller  to  Carthage,  and  the  marshal 
took  him  to  the  hotel  and  supplied  him  with  refreshments. 
After  supper,  an  apostate  Mormon  called  in  with  the  marshal  ta 
see  him.  When  he  saw  Miller,  he  said  to  the  marshal : 

"By  heavens!  you  are  sold  this  time.  That  is  not  Brigham, 
that  is  Mr.  Miller." 

The  marshal  was  a  good  deal  nettled,  and  said  to  Miller : 

"  I  am  very  much  obliged  to  you." 

Miller  replied : 

"  You  are  quite  welcome.  I  hope  you  will  pay  my  bill  as  you 
agreed  to  do." 

"  Why  did  you  deceive  me?"  demanded  the  marshal. 

"I  did  not,"  replied  Miller,  "you  deceived  yourself.  I  said 
nothing  to  deceive  you." 

"All  right,"  replied  the  marshal,  "I  will  settle  your  bill, 
and  you  can  return  in  the  morning,  if  you  choose." 

This  friendly  warning  gave  Brigham  to  understand  that  it  was 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  171 

time  for  him  to  get  away,  that  many  such  tricks  would  not  be 

In  the  Temple  I  took  three  more  wives — Martha  Berry,  Polly 
Ann  Workman  and  Delethea  Morris,  and  had  all  my  family 
sealed  to  me  over  the  altar,  in  the  Temple,  and  six  of  them  re- 
ceived their  second  anointings,  that  is,  the  first  six  wives  did, 
but  the  last  three  we  had  not  time  to  attend  to. 

On  the  10th  of  February,  1846,  Brigham  Young  and  a  small 
company  crossed  the  Mississippi  River,  on  the  ice,  into  Iowa, 
and  formed  an  encampment  on  a  stream  called  Sugar  Creek.  I 
crossed,  with  two  wagons,  with  the  first  company.  Brigham  did 
this  in  order  to  elude  the  officers,  and  wait  there  until  all  who 
could  fit  themselves  out  could  join  him.  Such  as  were  in  danger 
of  being  arrested  were  helped  away  first.  Our  police  crossed 
over  to  guard  the  first  Presidency.  Those  who  were  not  liable 
to  be  arrested  remained  back  and  sent  their  teams  forward.  I 
took  one  of  Brigham's  wives,  Emeline,  in  one  of  my  wagons, 
with  Louisa,  her  sister,  as  far  as  Florence  or  Rainsville.  All 
of  Brigham's  wives,  except  the  first,  were  taken  by  the  breth- 
ren, as  he  did  not  at  that  time  have  the  teams  or  means  to  convey 
his  family  across  the  plains,  but  was  dependent  on  the  brethren 
for  help,  though  he  had  used  every  means  in  his  power  to  raise 
an  outfit. 

Brigham  called  a  council  of  some  of  the  leading  men.  Among 
them  was  one  Joseph  L.  Heywood  and  myself.  Heywood  was  a 
merchant  at  Quincy,  Illinois,  and  was  doing  a  fair  business  be- 
fore he  joined  the  Mormon  Church,  and  was  considered  an  hon- 
orable man.  When  the  Mormons  were  driven  from  Missouri 
many  had  occasion  to  bless  him  for  his  many  kindnesses  to  them 
in  their  hour  of  trouble.  At  the  council,  after  some  conversa- 
tion upon  our  present  move,  Brigham  proposed  to  appoint  a 
committee  of  men,  against  whom  no  charges  could  be  brought, 
to  return  to  Nauvoo  and  attend  to  the  selling  of  the  property  of 
the  Saints,  and  to  see  to  fitting  out  the  people  and  starting  them 
forward.  He  proposed  that  I,  A.  W.  Babbitt,  Joseph  L.  Hey- 
wood and  David  S.  Fulmer  be  that  committee.  Brother  Hey- 
wood was  asked  to  turn  over  his  whole  stock  of  goods  to  fit  the 
first  Presidency  and  the  Apostles  for  the  journey.  This  to 
Brother  Heywood  was  a  stunner.  He  replied  that  he  was  in- 
debted to  honorable  men  in  the  East  for  the  most  of  his  stock, 
and  that  he  did  not  dare  to  defraud  them ;  that  he  had  been 


taught  from  childhood  to  deal  honorably  with  all  men.  He  was 
told  by  Brigham  that  he  could  raise  the  money  to  pay  his  East- 
ern creditors  from  the  sales  of  the  property  at  Nauvoo.  This 
brother  Heywood  thought  very  doubtful,  as  the  property  of 
a  deserted  city  would  not  be  very  valuable.  Brigham  then  said 
that  this  was  a  case.r-of  emergency,  and  they  must  have  the 
goods ;  that  Brother  Heywood  must  write  to  his  creditors  and 
tell  them  that  owing  to  the  trouble  among  the  people  business 
had  fallen  off,  and  that  he  could  not  pay  them,  but  would  in  the 
future.  Brigham  told  him  if  he  failed  to  raise  money  from  the 
sale  of  city  property,  as  soon  as  the  Church  was  established  that 
he  would  raise  the  money  for  him  to  satisfy  his  creditors,  and 
this  would  give  him  more  influence  than  ever  among  the  outside 
world.  They  finally  persuaded  Heywood  to  turn  over  his  goods. 
If  time  permits  I  will  hereafter  tell  how  he  came  out  of  the  mat- 
ter. For  all  of  my  services  for  the  leading  men  I  never  received 
a  dollar.  I  have  managed,  however,  to  maintain  my  family  in 
good  style,  to  pay  my  tithing  and  live  independently  of  help  from 
the  Church.  I  was  called  a  shrewd  trader  and  a  good  financier, 
and  alwa}7s  had  plenty. 

I  usually  had  some  money  on  hand.  These  were  considered 
by  Brigham  noble  traits  in  my  character.  He  would  rather  a 
person  would  give  to  him  than  beg  from  him. 



A  FEW  words  in  regard  to  the  Prophet  Joseph.  He  was 
tried  twenty-one  times  for  different  offences,  and  acquit- 
ted each  time.  One  time  when  he  was  visiting  at  Peoria,  he  was 
captured  by  four  men  from  Missouri,  who  started  with  him  in  a 
wagon,  to  take  him  to  that  State.  Two  of  them  sat  beside  him 
with  cocked  pistols,  punching  him  in  the  side  occasionally,  and 
telling  him  that  if  he  opened  his  month  they  would  blow  his 
brains  out.  He  was  not  arrested  by  any  process  of  law,  but 
they  were  trying  to  kidnap  him.  Stephen  H.  Markham,  an  old 
tried  friend  of  Joseph,  ran  ahead  to  the  town  of  Peoria,  employ- 
ed a  lawyer,  got  out  a  writ  of  habeas  corpus,  and  had  him  set  at 
liberty.  When  the  news  reached  Nauvoo,  the  Saints  were  in  the 
wildest  state  of  excitement.  The  Mormon  steamer  there  was 
laden  with  troops,  who  hastened  to  Peoria  to  rescue  the 
Prophet.  When  they  arrived  there  they  found  him  at  liberty. 
This  was  in  1843.  The  same  winter  he  organized  what  was 
called  the  "  Council  of  Fifty."  This  was  a  confidential  organi- 
zation. A  man  by  the  name  of  Jackson  belonged  to  it,  though 
he  did  not  belong  to  the  Church.  This  Council  was  designated 
as  a  law-making  department,  but  no  record  was  ever  kept  of  its 
doings,  or  if  kept,  they  were  burned  at  the  close  of  each  meet- 
ing. Whenever  anything  of  importance  was  on  foot  this  Coun- 
cil was  called  to  deliberate  upon  it.  The  Council  was  called  the 
"  Living  Constitution."  Joseph  said  that  no  legislature  could 
enact  laws  that  would  meet  every  case,  or  attain  the  ends  of 
justice  in  all  respects. 

As  a  man,  Joseph  tried  to  be  a  law-abiding  citizen,  but  he  had 

a  motley  crew  to    manage,    men  who  were    constantly  doing 

something  to  bring  trouble  upon  them.    He  often  reproved  them 

and  some  he  dis-fellowshiped.     But  being  of  a  forgiving  disposi- 



tion,  when  they  would  come  back  to  him  and  beg  his  forgive- 
ness, his  kind,  humane  heart  could  not  refuse  them.  He  was 
often  basely  imposed  upon. 

I  was  standing  with  him  one  cold  day,  watching  a  couple  of 
men  who  were  crossing  the  river  in  a  canoe.  The  river  was  full 
of  ice,  running  swiftly.  As  they  neared  the  shore  the  canoe  up- 
set, throwing  them  into  the  river.  One  of  them  got  on  a  cake  of 
ice,  but  the  other  made  several  attempts  before  he  could  do 
so.  As  quick  as  thought  Joseph  sent  a  runner  to  them  with  a 
bottle  of  whisky,  saying,  "Those  poor  boys  must  be  nearly 
frozen."  This  man  Jackson  was  standing  near;  said  he,  "By 
Heavens,  he  is  the  most  thoughtful  man  on  earth." 

On  another  occasion,  on  the  4th  of  July,  1843,  at  a  celebra- 
tion, a  number  of  toasts  had  been  offered,  when  some  one  said, 
"  Brother  Jo«eph,  suppose  you  give  us  a  toast."  Raising  his 
glass,  with,  water  in  it,  in  the  place  of  spirits,  he  said,  "Here 
is  wishing  that  all  the  mobocrats  of  the  nineteenth  century  were 
in  the  middle  of  the  sea,  in  a  stone  canoe,  with  an  iron  paddle  ; 
that  a  shark  might  swallow  the  canoe,  and  the  shark  be  thrust 
into  the  nethermost  part  of  h — 1,  and  the  door  locked,  the  key 
lost,  and  a  blind  man  hunting  for  it." 

But  to  return  to  our  expedition  across  the  plains.  The  snow 
lay  about  eight  inches  deep  on  the  ground  when  the  first  com- 
pany crossed  the  river.  The  plan  of  operation  was  this :  We 
must  leave  Nauvoo,  whether  ready  or  not.  All  covenanted  to 
help  each  other,  until  all  were  away  that  wanted  to  go.  The 
teams  and  wagons  sent  to  help  others  away  were  to  be  sent  back 
as  soon  as  a  suitable  place  was  found  at  which  to  make  a  settle- 
ment, and  leave  the  poor,  or  rather  those  who  had  no  teams  to 
go  on  with.  I  was  unwilling  to'start  out  with  a  part  of  my  fam- 
ily, leaving  the  rest  behind,  and  thought  that  now  was  the  time 
to  get  them  out  before  greater  trouble  commenced.  I  went  into 
Brigham's  tent  and  told  him  what  I  thought  of  the  matter,  and 
that  I  thought  I  could  fit  up  teams  in  a  few  days  and  bring  them 
all  away.  He  replied  that  he  had  been  thinking  of  the  same 
thing.  Said  he : 

"Go,  I  will  give  you  five  days  in  which  to  sell  out  and  cross 
the  river  again,  and  bring  me  one  hundred  dollars  in  gold." 

I  informed  the  portion  of  my  family  that  was  with  me  of  my 
intentions.  My  first  wife  was  still  at  Nauvoo.  I  had  the  confi- 
dence of  my  family,  and  I  was  a  man  who  seldom  undertook 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  175 

•anything  that  I  did  not  carry  out.  I  started  back  on  foot,  and 
crossed  the  river  on  the  ice.  I  fell  in  with  acquaintances  about 
La  Harpe,  who  were  in  trouble  about  a  number  of  wagons  and 
teams  which  they  had  purchased  in  the  State.  The  devil  was 
to  pay  generally.  Some  of  the  Gentiles  who  had  lost  cattle  laid 
it  to  the  Mormons  in  Nauvoo,  and  they  were  determined  to  take 
cattle  from  the  Mormons  until  they  got  even.  I  had  a  brick 
house  and  lot  on  Parley  street  that  I  sold  for  three  hundred  dol- 
lars in  teams.  I  told  the  purchaser  that  I  would  take  seven, 
wagons  and  teams,  and  before  I  went  to  sleep  that  night  I  had 
my  entire  outfit  of  teams.  My  large  house,  costing  me  $8000 
(in  Salt  Lake  City  it  would  have  been  worth  $50,000),  I  was 
offered '$800  for.  My  fanaticism  would  not  allow  me  to  take 
that  for  it.  I  locked  it  up,  selling  only  one  stove  out  of  it,  for 
which  I  received  eight  yards  of  cloth.  The  building,  with  its 
twenty-seven  rooms,  I  turned  over  to  the  committee,  to  be  sold 
to  help  the  poor  away.  The  committee  informed  me  afterwards 
that  they  sold  the  house  for  $12.50. 

I  was  sitting  with  my  family,  and  was  telling  them  that  I  must 
get  $500  in  some  way,  but  the  Lord  opened  no  way  by  which 
I  could  see  where  I  could  get  it,  and  I  had  but  five  days  in 
which  to  get  out  of  Nauvoo.  In  an  adjoining  room  was  an  old 
gentleman  and  his  daughter,  who  rented  the  room  of  me.  They 
were  from  Pennsylvania,  and  the  old  gentleman  was  wealthy. 
The  daughter  stepped  into  her  father's  room,  and  soon  returned, 
saying  that  her  father  wished  to  see  me.  I  went  into  his  room. 
He  gave  me  a  seat  and  said,  "  You  once  did  me  a  kindness  that 
I  have  not  repaid.  Do  you  remember  meeting  me  once,  when 
coming  from  the  Temple?  I  had  been  there  with  my  wife  and 
only  child  to  get  my  washings  and  anointings.  I  was  not  ad- 
mitted, because  I  was  a  stranger,  and  no  one  to  vouch  for  me. 
I  was  returning  with  a  heavy  heart,  when  I  met  you.  You  re- 
turned with  me  and  used  your  influence,  vouched  for  us  and  pro- 
cured our  admittance.  I  obtained  our  endowments.  I  had  a 
cancer  on  my  breast  at  that  time,  that  was  considered  incurable.  \ 
From  the  hour  I  received  our  endowments  it  has  never  pained 
me  and  it  is  healing  up.  JNow,  I  am  thankful  I  have  it  in  my 
power  to  do  you  a  little  favor  in  return."  So  saying,  he  lifted 
the  lid  of  a  box  and  counted  out  $500  in  gold  coin,  saying  that 
if  it  would  help  me  I  was  welcome  to  it.  I  offered  him  a  team, 
,but  he  said  he  had  money  enough  to  buy  his  outfit,  and  sup- 


port  him  while  he  lived,  and  that  he  felt  thankful  for  an  oppor- 
tunity of  returning  my  favor.  This  was  to  me  an  unexpected 
blessing  from  an  honest  heart.  I  wept  with  joyful  gratitude  ;  I 
had  the  means  that  I  desired  in  my  hands.  The  next  morning  I 
received  my  teams  and  wagons.  All  had  to  be  fitted  up  for  the 
journey.  My  family  all  went  to  work  making  tents  and  things 
needful  for  the  journey.  I  sent  my  wagons  to  the  Mormon 
wagonshop  and  told  them  to  work  night  and  day,  and  put 
them  in  the  best  order  within  three  days,  and  I  would  give  them 
$50  dollars  in  gold,  which  was  $5  for  a  day  and  night's  work, 
quite  a  difference  from  fifty  cents,  the  usual  price.  They  went 
to  work  in  earnest,  and  as  fast  as  a  v  agon  was  finished  I  had  it 
loaded.  In  the  meantime  A.  W.  Babbitt  was  urging  me  to  cross 
the  river,  as  there  was  an  officer  in  town  looking  for  me.  On 
the  third  day  I  started  one  of  my  ox  teams  across  the  river  on 
the  ice,  and  came  near  losing  the  whole  outfit,  by  its  breaking 
through  the  ice.  I  crossed  no  more  teams  that  way.  I  then  got 
a  large  wood  boat  and  some  twenty-five  men  to  help  me,  and  we 
cut  through  the  ice  across  the  river,  so  that  the  boat  could  be 
towed  over.  On  the  fourth  day  I  had  all  of  my  effects  at  the 
river  side.  The  day  before,  when  I  had  crossed  the  team  that 
had  broken  through  the  ice,  I  met  an  officer  at  the  river  side 
looking  for  me.  He  wanted  to  arrest  me  on  the  charge  of  lasciv- 
ious cohabitation — having  more  wives  than  one.  I  told  him  that 
I  had  seen  John  D.  Lee  crossing  the  river  the  day  before,  and 
that  one  of  his  oxen  broke  through,  and  added  that  it  was  a 
pity  he  had  not  broken  through  also.  I  stepped  into  a  saloon 
with  the  officer  and  we  took  a  drink  together.  I  then  went  with 
him  into  the  wagonshop,  and  stepping  in  ahead  of  him,  and  tip- 
ping the  wink  to  the  men  there,  said, 

"Have  any  of  you  seen  John  D.  Lee  to-day?  Here  is  an 
officer  looking  for  him." 

They  replied  that  he  had  crossed  the  river  the  day  before. 
This  satisfied  the  officer,  and  he  went  away.  I  bought  oils  and 
-paints  for  my  wogons,  and  five  gallons  of  whiskey  to  treat  the 
boys  who  had  helped  me  over  the  river.  As  we  left  the  river,  a 
heavy  storm  came  up.  It  was  so  dark  I  could  see  nothing.  I 
had  four  mule  teams,  and  let  them  follow  the  road.  We  halted 
about  a  mile  beyond  the  town  of  Montrose,  and  a  man  who  lived 
there,  named  Hickenlooper,  took  us  all  in  and  attended  to  the 
animals.  I  went  to  sleep  and  did  not  wake  until  ten  o'clock  the 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  177 

next  morning.  This  man  had  all  the  supplies  we  needed,  flour, 
bacon,  etc. ;  and  I  purchased  my  store  of  supplies  from  him.  I 
learned  that  the  company  had  moved  on,  and  was  camped  at  a 
place  called  Richardson's  Point,  forty-five  miles  from  Montrose. 
Before  reaching  the  encampment,  I  was  met  by  Brigham 
Young,  H.  C.  Kimball,  and  Dr.  William  Richards  in  their  car- 
riages, who  bade  me  welcome.  After  we  reached  camp,  a  coun- 
cil was  held,  and  I  reported  my  success,  and  gave  an  account  of 
my  mission.  When  I  had  finished,  Brigham  asked  me  if  I  had 
brought  him  that  hundred  dollars.  I  replied  I  had,  and  handed 
it  to  him.  He  counted  it,  and  then  said, 

"  What  shall  I  do  with  it?  " 

I  replied,  "Feed  and  help  the  poor." 

He  then  prophesied,  saying  that  I  should  be  blessed,  and 
means  would  come  unto  me  from  an  unexpected  source,  that  in 
time  of  need  friends  would  be  sent  to  my  assistance. 

The  roads  were  in  a  bad  condition,  and  we  lay  here  a  few 
days,  during  which  time  I  painted  and  numbered  my  wagons. 
Myself,  Geo.  S.  Clark,  Levi  Stewart  and  another  man  were  ap- 
pointed hunters,  as  there  was  much  game  in  the  country  we  had 
to  pass  through,  turkey,  deer  and  some  elk. 

From  here  we  traveled  to  the  Raccoon  Fork  of  Grand  River,  in 
Iowa,  al^out  seventy-five  miles.  At  the  three  forks  of  the  Grand 
River  we  made  a  halt.  In  fact  the  rain  had  made  the  country 
impassable,  and  our  provisions  were  running  short.  Here  we 
found  some  wild  hogs,  and  the  men  killed  several.  Brigham 
said  that  they  were  probably  some  of  our  hogs  that  had  become 
scattered  when  we  were  driven  out  of  Missouri.  This  was 
sufficient  license  for  many  to  kill  anything  they  could  find. 

While  we  lay  here  two  men  came  to  our  camp,  named  Allen 
Miller  and  Mr.  Clancy.  They  were  traders  to  the  Potawatomie 
Indians.  Allen  Miller  had  married  one  of  my  wives.  They 
informed  me  that  we  could  get  everything  we  needed  about  fifty 
miles  from  there,  near  Grand  River.  We  unloaded  about  seven- 
teen wagons  and  selected  out  such  articles  as  we  could  spare. 
I  was  appointed  the  Contracting  Commissary,  to  do  the  pur- 
chasing for  the  companies.  This  was  in  April,  1846. 

We  started  with  those  two  men  and  the  seventeen  wagons,  and 
drove  to  Miller's  and  made  that  headquarters,  as  he  had  provis- 
ions in  abundance.  The  grass  was  like  a  meadow  then.  I  had 
some  horses  and  harness  to  exchange  for  oxen  and  cows.  When 

178  l£O£MOma#  UNVEILED. 

we  bad  turned  out  our  stock  for  the  day  at  Miller's,  Mr.  Clancy 
invited  me  home  with  him.  On  entering  his  house  I  found  his 
partner,  Patrick  Dorsey,  an  Irishman,  sick.  Mr.  Dorsey  had  been 
tormented  with  a  pain  in  his  eyes,  in  so  much  that  he  had  rested 
neither  day  nor  night,  and  was  losing  his  sight.  I  asked  him  if 
he  was  a  Catholic.  He  answered  that  he  was.  I  knew  their 
faith,  as  I  was  raised  a  Catholic  and  once  believed  in  their  doc- 
trines. I  asked  him  if  he  wished  me  to  pray  for  him.  He  in- 
quired if  I  was  a  minister,  to  which  I  replied  that  I  was.  He 
then  said: 

"Do  pray  with  me,  if  you  please,  for  I  am  in  great  distress." 

I  then  laid  my  hands  upon  his  head,  and  asked  the  Father,  in 
the  name  of  the  Son,  and  by  virtue  of  the  holy  priesthood  in  me 
vested,  to  stay  his  sufferings  and  heal  him.  The  pain  left  him 
instantly,  as  he  took  his  hat  and  walked  with  me  to  Miller's 
house.  They  were  astonished  to  see  him  apparently  without 
pain,  and  asked  him  what  I  had  done  for  him.  He  answered: 

"I  was  in  great  distress;  a  stranger  laid  hands  upon  my 
head,  and  praj^ed  and  made  me  whole ;  but  who  he  was,  or 
whence  he  came,  I  know  not.  But  this  I  know,  that  I  was 
almost  blind,  and  now  I  see ;  I  was  sick,  but  now  I  am  well." 

This  little  occurrence  created  quite  an  excitement  in  the  set- 
tlement, and  nothing  would  do  but  I  must  preach  the  next  even- 
ing. During  the  next  day  I  made  several  trades.  Evening 
came,  and  I  preached  at  my  friend  Miller's.  When  I  closed 
they  made  me  up  a  purse  of  five  dollars,  and  offered  to  load  one 
of  our  wagons  with  provisions. 

We  remained  here  about  a  week  and  did  finely  in  trading. 
On  Sunday  quite  a  large  attendance,  for  a  new  country,  turned 
out  to  hear  me  preach.  I  was  weary  and  did  not  feel  much  like 
preaching.  However  I  preached  about  an  hour  and  a  half.  At 
the  close  of  the  service  they  made  up  ten  dollars  for  me,  and  a 
Mr.  Scott,  a  wealthy  farmer,  said  that  if  I  would  drive  my  wag- 
ons to  his  establishment  he  would  fill  them  all  with  flour,  bacon, 
potatoes,  etc.  I  had  the  use  of  my  friend  Miller's  store  to  store 
away  our  traps,  as  I  had  more  than  we  could  take  away.  The 
people  were  anxious  for  me  to  stop  there  and  take  up  a  farm, 
make  my  home  with  them,  and  preach  and  build  up  a  church. 
I  told  them  I  was  bound  for  the  Rocky  Mountains.  As  for  Mr. 
Dorsey,  he  offered  me  all  he  had,  and  wanted  to  know  what  to 
do  to  be  saved.  He  gave  me  a  history  of  his  life.  He  told  me 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  179 

he  led  a  company  of  men  from  Carroll  County,  Missouri,  when 
"we  were  driven  from  the  State.  I  reflected  a  little  and  gave  him 
&  list  of  city  property  at  Nauvoo  that  I  would  turn  out  to  him  at 
one-fourth  its  value,  for  such  property  as  he  wanted  to  turn  out 
to  me.  He  said  he  had  twelve  yoke  of  oxen  and  some  twenty- 
five  cows,  and  other  stock ;  four  bee  stands,  three  wagons,  some 
six  to  eight  hundred  dollars'  worth  of  bacon,  flour,  meal,  soap, 
powder,  lead,  blankets,  thirty  rifles,  guns,  knives,  tobacco,  cali- 
coes, spades,  hoes,  plows,  harrows ;  also  twelve  feather  beds  and 
all  of  his  improvements.  He  said  he  only  wanted  his  carriage 
and  a  span  of  black  horses,  to  take  himself,  wife  and  partner  to 
Nauvoo.  All  the  above  property  he  turned  over  to  me,  and  I 
gave  him  deeds  to  property  in  Nauvoo.  He  was  to  go  back 
with  our  return  teams,  as  Brigham  had  commenced  making  a 
settlement  at  the  place  where  he  was  camped.  He  called  the 
place  Garden  Grove.  We  returned  to  camp,  laden  with  all  our 
teams  could  haul,  besides  the  three  wagons  that  I- had  got  from 
Dorsey.  There  was  a  great  deal  that  we  could  not  move  away. 
I  took  a  forty-gallon  cask  of  honey  and  a  quantity  of  whisky  and 
brandy  from  Dorsey.  The  bee  stands,  improvements  and  farm- 
ing utensils  I  turned  over  for  the  use  of  the  settlers  that  re- 
mained at  Garden  Grove. 

This  circumstance  confirmed  me  in  my  oft-expressed  opinion 
that  much  of  the  trouble  that  has  followed  this  people  has  been 
created  by  wild,  ignorant  fanatics ;  for  only  a  few  years  before 
these  same  people  were  our  most  bitter  enemies,  and  when  we 
came  again  and  behaved  ourselves,  they  treated  us  with  the 
utmost  kindness  and  hospitality. 

I  also  made  arrangements  for  all  the  labor  needed  by  the  com- 
pany that  was  left,  so  that  they  could  be  planting  crops  and 
raising  supplies  while  building  houses  to  live  in.  The  company 
left  would  be  strengthened  by  others  who  would  follow.  All  the 
borrowed  teams  were  returned  to  bring  others  forward,  and 
those  who  had  teams  of  their  own  went  on  and  made  another 
settlement  called  Pisgah,  and  then  went  on  to  Council  Bluffs, 
which  was  afterwards  called  Kanesville,  in  honor  of  Col.  Thomas 
L.  Kane.  From  this  point  I  took  a  cargo  of  traps,  consisting  of 
feather  beds,  fine  counterpanes,  quilts,  and  such  goods,  and 
went  down  to  Missouri,  with  a  large  number  of  wagons,  to 
obtain  a  cargo  of  supplies,  and  beef  cattle  and  cows.  During 
my  absence  a  call  was  made  on  the  Mormons  for  five  hundred 


men  to  go  to  Mexico,  to  defend  the  American  flag.  Col.  Ethan 
Allen  and  Thos.  L.  Kane  came  to  raise  the  required  number  of 
men.  An  express  was  sent  back  to  Pisgah  and  Garden  Grove 
to  furnish  their  number.  The  ranks  were  nearly  full  before  I 
reached  camp.  Dr.  Richards  said  to  me : 

"  I  am  glad  you  have  returned.  We  want  you  for  one  of  the 

"All  right,"  I  answered,  and  started  to  enroll  my  name. 
Brigham  Young  called  me  back  and  said  he  could  not  spare  me ; 
that  there  were  men  enough  to  fill  the  bill  without  me.  The 
battalion  was  filled,  and  Col.  Allen,  a  United  States  officer, 
marched  them  to  Fort  Leavenworth,  Kansas. 

From  Council  Bluffs  I  returned  to  Missouri,  to  buy  a  drove  of 
cattle  for  Brigham  Young,  Dr.  Richards  and  others,  they  having 
received  some  money  from  England.  I  also  loaded  some  twenty 
wagons  with  provisions  and  articles  for  trade  and  exchange.  I 
also  exchanged  horses  for  oxen,  as  the  latter  were  low  and  the 
former  high  in  price.  About  the  middle  of  August  I  returned, 
with  about  five  hundred  head  of  cattle. 

While  I  was  gone  the  camp  had  moved  across  the  Missouri 
River,  at  a  place  called  Cutler's  Park.  The  cattle  swam  the 
river,  but  the  provision  train  was  still  on  the  Iowa  side  of  the 
river.  A.  Grant,  and  some  other  of  Brigham's  men,  teamsters 
and  waiters,  crossed  back  for  a  couple  of  loads  of  provisions  for 
Brigham  and  some  others.  Without  saying  a  word  to  me  they 
loaded  up  from  the  train  their  supply  of  provisions.  When  I 
heard  of  it  I  was  considerably  ruffled,  as  this  train  was  in  my 
charge  and  I  was  responsible  for  it. 

I  went  to  Grant,  who  seemed  to  be  the  leader,  and  told  him 
he  had  not  acted  the  gentleman  in  interfering  with  what  did  not 
belong  to  him.  We  had  some  warm  words,  and  had  not  other 
parties  interfered  we  would  have  come  to  blows.  He  justified 
himself  by  saying  that  Brigham  sent  him.  I  told  him  I  did  not 
care  who  sent  him — that  there  was  a  right  way  and  a  wrong  way 
of  doing  things.  The  feeling  grew  bitter  between  us,  and  they 
accused  me  of  doing  many  wrongful  things  in  my  office.  Final- 
ly Brigham  called  us  all  together  in  the  presence  of  the  first 
Presidency  and  the  Twelve  Apostles,  and  we  made  our  state- 
ments. My  accusers  said  what  they  had  to  say,  and  then  I  re- 
plied. When  Brigham  had  heard  our  statements  he  reproved 
my  accusers  sharply,  and  fully  approved  of  all  I  had  done.  He 



then  said  we  must  not  have  any  ill-feeling,  and  directed  us  to 
shake  hands  and  be  friends.  I  was  the  first  that  arose  to  com- 
ply. We  shook  hands,  and  though  we  agreed  to  drop  the  mat- 
ter, still  the  old  spirit  lingered,  even  after  we  had  crossed  the 



WE  GOT  into  camp  the  next  day.  After  striking  camp  I 
noticed  that  a  tire  was  gone  from  one  of  the  wagons.  A 
few  days  afterwards  the  mother  of  my  first  wife  went  down  to' 
a  stream  near  by,  and  caught  a  number  of  fine  fish,  and  on  her 
way  back  to  the  camp  she  found  the  missing  tire.  It  had  rolled 
nearly  three  hundred  yards  from  the  road,  and  was  laying  where 
it  at  last  stopped.  The  people  all  began  cutting  hay  and  stack- 
ing it,  so  as  to  be  prepared  for  feeding  our  stock  during  the 

One  night  in  the  latter  part  of  September,  I  dreamed  that 
Lieut.  James  Pace,  of  Co.  E,  Mormon  Battalion,  stood  at  my 
tent  door,  and  said  that  Col.  Allen,  commanding  the  Mormon 
battalion,  was  dead.  I  saw  him  plainly  in  my  dream,  and  after 
he  gave  the  information,  he  started  back  to  his  camp,  and  a  man 
went  from  our  encampment  with  him.  I  saw  him  and  his  com- 
panion, and  all  they  did  on  their  way  back  to  Santa  Fee,  their 
dangers  from  the  Indians,  and  all  that  took  place,  etc. 

The  next  evening  I  went,  as  was  usual,  with  Brigham  Young 
and  Dr.  Willard  Richardson,  the  Church  Historian,  to  attend  a 
Council  meeting  at  Heber  C.  After  the  meet- 
ing was  over,  and  we  we  were  going  back  to  our  tents,  I  said  to 
Brigham  Young : 

"  We  will  find  Lieut.  Pace  at  my  tent  when  we  get  there." 

"  How  do  you  know  that?  "  said  he. 

I  then  told  him  my  dream,  and  we  walked  on.  When  we  got 
in  sight  of  my  tent,  there  stood  Lieut.  James  Pace,  just  as  I 
had  seen  him  in  my  dream.  This  did  not  surprise  me,  for  I 
knew  he  would  come.  Brigham  Young  said : 

"  What  on  earth  has  brought  you  back?  " 

He  replied,  "  Col.  Allen  is  dead.  The  battalion  is  without  a 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  183 

commander  and  I  have  returned  by  order  of  the  other  officers  to 
report  to  you,  and  ask  you  who  shall  now  lead  us." 

"Why  did  you  not  elect  one  of  your  Captains?  "  said  Brigham 

"The  officers  prefer  to  let  Col.  Smith,  of  the  United  States 
army,  lead  us,  if  you  will  consent  to  it.  But  some  of  our  men 
object,  so  I  came  for  orders  from  you,"  said  Pace. 

The  matter  was  taken  into  consideration  by  Brigham  Young 
until  next  morning.  In  the  morning  he  came  to  me  in  my  tent, 
and  said : 

"John,  how  would  you  like  to  go  back  with  Brother  Pace  and 
get  the  remittances  of  the  soldiers?  " 

I  said  nothing  could  be  more  objectionable  than  such  a  trip. 
"  My  family  is  large,  I  have  no  houses  for  them ;  they  are  with- 
out provisions,  and  I  have  no  means  to  shelter  them  from  the 
winter  storms.  I  have  not  sufficient  hay  cut  to  feed  my  stock 
through  the  winter.  I  must  attend  to  keeping  my  stock  in  order 
or  I  will  have  nothing  left  to  take  me  and  my  family  over  the 
plains  next  Spring.  But,"  said  I,  "  there  is  no  one  more  will- 
ing to  sacrifice  himself  and  his  own  interests  for  the  benefit  of 
the  Church  than  I  am." 

He  waited  and  heard  me  through ;  then  he  said,  "Thus  sayeth 
the  Lord.  You  shall  go,  my  son.  Prosperity  shall  attend  you 
during  your  absence,  and  you  shall  return  in  safety,  not  a  hair 
of  your  head  shall  be  hurt." 

I  said,  "  It  is  sufficient  to  know  your  will,  I  will  go ;  but  who 
will  take  care  of  my  family  in  my  absence?" 

He  said,  "I  will  see  to  your  family,  and  attend  to  all  you  are 
interested  in  during  your  absence." 

I  was  satisfied,  and  proceeded  to  carry  out  the  will  of  Brigham, 
Young.  I  had  cut  considerable  hay  in  company  with  the  breth- 
ren, but  as  it  had  to  be  divided,  I  considered  I  would  not  have 
much  to  my  share,  especially  after  I  had  to  divide  in  Winter 
with  the  lazy  poor,  or  poor  devils.  I  never  went  much  on  this 
copartnership  system  of  labor.  There  are  always  a  number 
who  will  not  work,  and  yet  they  are  always  present  when  there 
is  a  division  to  be  made  of  the  proceeds  of  the  labor.  Joseph 
Smith  classed  the  poor  in  three  divisions.  He  said,  "There  are 
three  kinds  of  poor.  The  Lord's  poor,  the  devil's  poor,  and  the 
poor  devils."  I  never  objected  to  share  with  the  Lord's  poor, 
but  when  it  came  to  dividing  with  the  devil's  poor  and  the  poor 


devils  too,    it   was  rather  more  than  I  desired ;  it  took  away 
all  the  profits. 

My  outfit  for  the  intended  journey  consisted  of  a  snug  light 
wagon,  a  span  of  good  mules,  a  spy-glass  and  such  traps  as  a 
man  needs  on  the  plains.  I  also  took  Dr.  Willard's  dog  with  me 
to  watch  while  I  was  asleep.  I  was  ordered  to  keep  my  busi- 
ness secret  from  every  one,  for  fear  of  being  robbed  on  my 
return  home.  I  was  not  allowed  to  even  tell  my  wives  where  I 
was  going,  or  how  long  I  would  be  gone.  I  went  to  St.  Joseph, 
Mo.,  and  put  up  at  John  Gheen's,  and  stayed  there  while  fitting 
out  for  the  trip.  While  there  I  met  Luke  Johnson,  one  of  the 
witnesses  to  4he  Book  of  Mormon,  l  had  a  curiosity  to  talk  with 
him  concerning  the  same.  "We  took  a  walk  down  on  the  river 
bank.  I  asked  him  if  the  statement  he  signed  about  seeing  the 
angel  and  the  plates,  was  true.  If  he  did  see  the  plates  from 
which  the  Book  of  Mormon  was  printed  or  translated.  He  said 
it  was  true.  I  then  said,  "How  is  it  that  you  have  left  the 
Church  ?  If  the  angel  appeared  to  you,  and  you  saw  the  plates, 
how  can  you  now  live  out  of  the  Church?  I  understand  you 
were  one  of  the  twelve  apostles  at  the  first  organization  of  the 

"I  was  one  of  the  twelve,"  said  he,  "  I  have  not  denied  the 
truth  of  the  Book  of  Mormon.  But  myself  and  several  others 
were  overtaken  in  a  fault  at  Kirkland,  Ohio — Wm.  Smith,  Oliver 
Cowdrey,  one  or  two  others,  and  myself.  We  were  brought  up 
for  the  offence  before  the  Church  authorities.  Sidney  Rigdon 
and  Wm.  Smith  were  excused,  and  the  matter  hushed  up.  But 
Cowdrey  and  myself  were  proceeded  against  and  our  choice 
given  us  to  make  a  public  confession,  or  be  dropped  from 
the  Church.  I  refused  to  make  the  public  confession  unless 
Rigdon  and  Smith  did  the  same.  The  authorities  said  that 
would  not  do,  for  Rigdon  was  counselor  to  the  Prophet,  and 
Wm.  Smith  was  the  brother  of  the  Prophet,  and  also  one  of  the 
twelve ;  but  that  if  Cowdrey  and  I  would  confess,  it  would  be 
a  cloak  for  the  other  two.  I  considered  this  unjust  and  unfair. 
So  I  left  the  Church  for  that  reason.  But  I  have  reflected  over 
the  matter  much  since  that  time,  and  I  have  come  to  the  con- 
clusion that  each  man  is  accountable  for  his  own  sins,  also  that 
the  course  I  have  been  pursuing  injures  me  alone,  and  I  intend 
to  visit  the  Saints  and  again  ask  to  be  admitted  into  the  Church. 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  185 

Rigdon  has  gone  to  destruction,  and  Wm.  Smith  is  not  much 
better  off  to-day  than  I  am." 

This  conversation  was  a  great  comfort  to  me.  We  went  to 
Fort  Leavenworth,  where  we  learned  that  Colonel  Smith  had 
taken  command  of  the  battalion  and  had  marched  on  with  it. 
Lieut.  Pace  got  another  good  horse  here,  and  such  oats  and  pro- 
visions as  we  needed.  We  then  struck  on  after  the  command. 
We  overtook  the  battalion  about  fifty  miles  below  Bent's  Fort. 
Our  brethren  were  rejoiced  to  see  us.  Many  had  grievances  to 
relate,  and  all  had  much  to  tell  and  enquire  about.  That  morn- 
ing they  had  buried  one  of  the  battalion  named  Phelps.  The 
men  said  his  death  was  caused  by  arsenic  which  the  doctor  had 
forced  him  to  take.  They  claimed  that  Colonel  Smith  was  a 
tyrant — that  he  was  not  the  man  that  Colonel  Allen  had  been. 
The  command  was  on  the  march  when  we  came  up  with  it. 
There  was  a  fifty-mile  desert  before  us,  and  little  water  on  the 
route.  Colonel  Allen  had  allowed  the  men  to  pray  with  and  for 
each  other  when  sick  and  had  not  forced  them  to  take  medifcine 
when  they  did  not  want  it.  But  Colonel  Smith  deprived  them 
of  their  religious  rights  and  made  them  obey  the  doctor's  orders 
at  all  times.  The  doctor  examined  the  sick  every  morning  and 
forced  them  to  take  medicine,  or  when  they  refused  to  take  it 
they  were  compelled  to  walk,  and  when  unable  to  walk  and  keep 
up  with  the  others  they  were  tied  to  the  back  end  of  the  wagons, 
like  they  were  animals.  The  doctor  was  generally  called  Death; 
he  was  known  to  all  by  that  name.  While  traveling  along 
Captain  J.  Hunt,  of  Company  A,  introduced  Colonel  Smith  to 
me.  I  then  invited  them  to  ride  in  my  wagon.  They  got  in, 
and  I  soon  introduced  the  subject  of  the  treatment  of  the  troops 
adopted  by  Colonel  Allen,  and  spoke  of  its  good  influence  over 
them.  I  said  the  men  loved  Colonel  Allen,  and  would  all  have 
died  for  him,  because  he  respected  their  religious  rights.  I  said 
they  were  volunteers,  and  not  like  regular  troops ;  that  they 
were  not  used  to  regular  military  discipline,  and  felt  that  they 
were  oppressed,  and  had  lost  confidence  in  their  officers.  I  re- 
ferred to  the  ill-treatment  of  the  men,  and  talked  quite  freely. 
Captain  Hunt  got  very  mad,  and  jumped  out  of  the  wagon.  He 
said  I  talked  like  an  insane  man  more  than  a  man  of  sense. 
The  Colonel  said  that  he  was  willing  to  give  up  the  command  to 
the  choice  of  the  battalion.  I  said  he  had  better  keep  it  until 
we  arrived  at  Santa  Fe,  but  for  his  own  sake  he  had  better  ease 


up  on  the  boys  a  little.  That  evening  Captain  Hunt  sent  a  del- 
egation to  me  informing  me  that  I  was  causing  the  command  to- 
mutiny,  and  I  must  stop  it  or  he  would  have  me  put  under  ar- 
rest. I  asked  where  he  was  going  to  find  his  men  to  put  me 
under  guard — that  he  could  not  find  them  in  that  command,  and 
that  if  he  doubted  my  word  he  had  better  try  to  arrest  me.  The 
Captain  knew  I  was  right,  and  so  the  matter  ended.  I  then  told 
them  I  would  encourage  the  men  to  obedience  until  we  reached 
Santa  Fe.  The  troops  were  better  treated  after  that. 

On  the  march  water  was  very  scarce  ;  I  saw  a  man  offer  $16  for 
a  coffee-pot  of  water  one  day  on  the  desert.  I  walked  most  of 
the  time,  and  let  the  sick  ride  in  my  wagon.  When  we  reached 
the  Spanish  settlements  we  got  pepper,  onions,  corn,  sheep,, 
goats  and  other  articles  of  food.  We  reached  Santa  Fe  in  the 
midst  of  a  snow  storm.  All  the  Mormons  were  pleased  to  find 
that  honest  Missourian,  Colonel  Doniphan,  in  command  at  that 
place.  He  had  a  kind,  humane  nature.  The  sick  and  disabled 
men  of  the  battalion  were  sent  to  a  Spanish  town  called  Taos, 
under  charge  of  Captain  Brant,  for  care  and  rest.  Soon  after 
reaching  Santa  Fe  Colonel  Philip  St.  John  Cook  took  command 
of  the  battalion.  The  soldiers  were  paid  off,  and  Howard  Eganr 
who  had  accompanied  me,  was  given  one-half  of  the  checks  and 
money,  donated  by  the  soldiers  for  Brigham  Young  and  Heber 
C.  Kimball,  and  the  remainder  was  given  to  me  to  carry  back  to 
winter  quarters.  I  remained  in  camp  ten  days  to  recruit  my 
animals,  because  I  could  not  purchase  an  animal  there  for  use. 
The  army  had  taken  everything  fit  to  ride  or  walk. 

I  wished  to  have  Lieut.  Gully  return  with  me,  and  it  was  nec- 
essary to  obtain  permission  for  him  to  resign  before  he  could 
go  with  me.  I  went  to  see  the  commander  and  stated  the  situa- 
ation  to  him,  and  asked  that  Lieut.  Gully  be  allowed  to  resign. 
The  General  granted  my  request.  The  Lieutenant  had  been 
acting  Commissary  of  Subsistence,  and  had  to  make  up  his  pa- 
pers before  he  could  start.  I  waited  until  he  was  ready  to  go 
with  me.  I  also  took  Russell  Stevens  with  me,  as  he  had  been 
discharged  on  account  of  ill  health.  While  thus  waiting  I  wa& 
troubled  with  Egan  considerably,  for  he  was  drunk  every  day, 
and  I  feared  he  would  be  robbed.  I  had  Stevens  watch  him 
most  of  the  time.  BJT  closely  guarding  him  I  kept  him  and  the 
money  safe.  General  Doniphan  said  I  should  have  a  guard  with 
me,  and  he  would  send  one  back  to  protect  us  through  the  In- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  187 

dian  country,  but  animals  could  not  be  procured.  I  then  took 
the  necessary  trouble  and  procured  as  good  a  team  as  I  could  to 
start  back  with.  With  the  consent  of  the  General  I  got  a  large 
mule,  after  much  trouble,  to  work  with  one  of  my  own.  While 
we  were  in  camp  at  Santa  Fe  the  Doctor  was  robbed.  His 
trunk  was  stolen,  carried  out  of  the  camp,  and  broken  open. 
Two  gold  watches  and  some  money  were  taken  from  it.  Two 
mules  were  also  stolen  the  same  night.  I  knew  nothing  of  this, 
nor  who  did  it,  until  long  afterwards.  After  we  had  started 
home  Stevens  had  the  mules.  He  brought  them  to  camp  and 
said  they  were  his.  I  think  Stevens  and  Egan  robbed  the  Doc- 
tor, but  they  never  acknowledged  it  to  me.  About  the  llth  of 
October,  1846,  we  started  for  home  over  a  wilderness  twelve 
hundred  miles  wide,  nearly  every  foot  of  it  infested  with  In- 
dians. We  camped  in  the  mountains  at  Gold  Springs,  where  little 
particles  of  gold  can  be  seen  on  the  bottom  of  the  streams. 
Egan  and  Stevens  did  not  join  us  until  we  had  gone  fifty  miles 
from  Santa  Fe.  They  had  the  Doctor's  mules  and  a  Spanish 
horse  with  them  when  they  joined  us.  When  we  had  traveled 
ninety  miles  I  discovered  that  one  of  my  mules  was  failing.  The 
little  flesh  that  was  on  them  was  soft  and  would  not  last,  for  we 
had  not  fed  them  any  grain.  It  was  difficult  to  recruit  our 
mules  on  the  grass,  for  it  is  very  short  generally,  and  the  im- 
mense herds  of  buffalo  ranging  over  the  country  keep  the  grass 
short.  At  the  last  Spanish  town  we  passed  through  I  sent  Egan 
to  buy  a  couple  of  mules.  That  night  Egan  and  Stevens  came 
to  camp  with  two  poor,  miserable  looking  little  mules.  I  said : 
"What  on  earth  have  you  brought  these  poor  brutes  for?" 
Egan  said,  "We  cabbaged  them;  it  was  the  best  we  could 

I  told  him  that  I  was  on  a  mission  of  duty,  and  trusted  in 
God,  and  I  would  not  permit  him  to  bring  stolen  articles  to  the 
camp.  I  then  sent  him  back  with  the  mules  at  once.  I  said, 
"My  trust  is  in  God,  and  not  in  the  devil.  We  will  go  on,  and 
you  take  back  the  mules,  and  leave  them  where  you  got  them.'y 
He  did  as  I  directed.  At  Moro  Station,  on  the  Moro  River,  the 
last  camp  we  would  find  until  we  reached  the  eastern  side  of  the 
plains,  we  found  a  large,  fat  mule,  that  belonged  to  the  Govern- 
ment. Lieutenant  Gully  gave  the  station  keeper,  a  young  man, 
a  receipt  for  the  mule,  and  we  took  it  with  us,  as  we  were,  in 
one  sense,  in  Government  employ.  We  were  carrying  a  mail, 


and  on  general  business  for  the  Government.  This  was  a  large, 
fine,  gentle  mule.  I  called  her  Friendship.  When  the  other  an- 
imals grew  weak,  I  fastened  the  double-tree  back  to  the  axle, 
and  thus  Friendship  hauled  the/wagon  fully  three  hundred  miles. 
At  the  Cimerone  Springs  we  met  a  company  of  traders  from  St. 
Louis,  with  a  train  of  thirty-eight  wagons.  One  of  their  wagons 
was  loaded  with  pitch-pine  wood  for  cooking  purpo'ses.  It  was 
then  raining,  and  a  regular  plains  storm  was  coming  on.  These 
storms  are  sometimes  very  destructive.  A  train  had  been  over- 
taken at  this  same  place  a  year  before,  and  nearly  all  of  the  an- 
imals belonging  to  the  train  perished.  I  counted  one  hundred 
and  ninety  skeletons  of  mules  that  had  died  in  that  storm. 

Many  of  the  men  also  died  at  that  time.  The  storm  had 
taken  place  ten  d&ya  earlier  in  the  season  than  the  one  then 
threatening  us.  We  were  all  invited  to  the  camp  by  the  Cap- 
tain ;  the  other  men  went,  but  I  staid  in  the  wagon  to  write  up 
my  account  of  the  trip,  which  I  was  obliged  to  keep  by  order 
Brigham  Young.  Captain  Smith  then  came  to  my  wagon  and 
gave  me  a  drink  of  fine  brandy.  He  invited  us  to  take  supper 
and  breakfast  with  him,  which  we  did.  He  asked  me  if  I  was 
not  afraid  to  travel  in  such  a  small  company,  and  said  the  In- 
dians were  all  on  the  war  path,  and  committing  depredations  all 
along  the  road,  that  he  had  a  large  train,  yet  did  not  consider 
himself  safe.  I  answered,  "  My  trust  is  in  God,  not  in  num- 
bers." This  led  to  a  conversation  on  religious  subjects.  When 
I  told  him  who  I  was,  and  fully  stated  my  belief  to  him,  he  was 
much  interested  in  the  new  doctrine.  At  supper  he  had  every 
thing  to  eat  that  could  be  desired.  The  Captain  put  up  a  large 
tent  over  my  wagon  to  protect  it  from  the  storm  and  wind.  The 
next  morning  the  storm  was  over  and  we  made  an  early  start. 
The  Captain  gave  me  a  large  cheese,  a  sack  of  butter  crackers, 
some  sardines,  and  man}^  articles  which  were  of  great  value  to 
us  on  our  long,  cold  journey  over  the  plains.  He  also  gave  me 
his  name,  age,  and  place  of  residence  in  St.  Louis,  writing  it  in 
a  little  blank  book  which  he  gave  me.  He  then  gave  me  five 
dollars  in  gold,  shook  hands  with  me,  and  said,  "Remember  me 
in  coming  days,"  and  we  parted. 

At  the  crossing  of  the  Arkansas  River,  we  met  several  com- 
panies of  Missouri  troops.  They  informed  us  that  Captain 
Mann,  with  throe  companies  of  troops,  had  been  attacked  by  a 
large  body  of  Southern  Pawnee  and  Cheyenne  Indians,  that 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  189 

they  fought  three  hours,  when  the  troops  were  defeated  and  lost 
seven  men  killed,  with  quite  a  number  wounded.  That  three 
of  the  men  had  come  for  help.  That  Captain  Mann  had  lost  all 
of  his  animals  except  the  three  that  the  messengers  escaped 
with.  That  the  men  only  had  a  small  supply  of  ammunition,  and 
shot  it  all  away  before  they  retreated.  Reinforcements  had 
gone  to  their  assistance  and  would  bring  in  the  command. 
They  insisted  upon  us  stopping  with  them,  saying  it  was  mad- 
ness for  us  to  attempt  to  go  on.  I  told  them  that  my  trust  was 
in  God,  and  my  business  was  urgent  and  we  could  not  stop. 
We  went  on  twelve  miles,  when  we  met  the  troops  bringing  in 
the  wounded,  and  the  remnant  of  the  men  who  had  been  en- 
gaged with  Capt.  Mann,  in  the  late  Indian  fight;  they  also  in- 
sisted upon  our  returning  with  them.  They  said  there  were 
ei^ht  hundred  mounted  Indians  not  more  than  two  miles  back, 

D  ' 

following  up  the  rear  guard,  and  that  we  would  all  be  certainly 
massacred  unless  we  returned  with  them.  I  must  admit  that 
the  prospect  looked  dark.  Still  I  felt  impressed  to  go  on. 
Along  this  river,  while  it  runs  in  nearly  a  level  country  and  with 
no  timber  in  a  hundred  miles,  yet  there  are  many  washes  that 
sometimes  run  out  perhaps  a  mile  from  the  river.  Often  these 
washes,  which  were  quite  deep,  caused  the  road  to  run  around 
them,  thus  forcing  a  person  to  travel  a  couple  of  miles  to  gain 
two  hundred  yards  in  distance.  It  was  near  one  of  these  washes 
that  we  met  the  last  body  of  troops.  We  stopped  at  the  point 
where  the  road  turned  back  to  the  river.  My  comrades  were  in 
doubt  what  to  do.  I  felt  that  the  danger  was  great.  While  de- 
bating the  matter  over  in  my  mind,  my  whole  dream  that  I  had 
the  night  when  I  saw  Lieut.  Pace  at  my  tent  door,  came  fresh 
before  me.  I  at  once  saw  the  whole  situation.  While  studying 
upon  this  matter  I  heard  a  voice — an  audible  voice — say : 

"John,  leave  the  road  and  follow  me."  The  voice  appeared 
to  be  about  twenty  feet  in  front  of  me,  and  the  same  distance 
from  the  earth.  I  was  startled,  for  I  could  see  no  one  who  could 
have  spoken  thus  to  me.  I  said  to  Lieut.  Gully : 

"  Did  you  hear  that  voice?  " 

"No,"  said  he. 

"What  shall  we  do?  "  I  asked. 

He  said,  "  You  are  intrusted  with  this  mission,  follow  your 
impressions  and  all  will  be  right." 

From  that  moment  I  felt  an  invisible  power  that  led  me  out 


into  the. plain,  away  from  all  roads  or  trails.  We  went  along 
about  half  a  mile,  when  we  came  to  a  low  basin,  which  entirely 
liid  us  from  the  road.  This  basin  contained  about  one  acre  of 
ground,  and  was  covered  with  good  grass.  I  felt  it  my  duty  to 
stop  there,  and  did  so.  .It  was  then  about  one  o'clock,  P.  M. 
Soon  after  stopping  we  saw  a  cloud  of  dust  made  by  a  large 
herd  of  buffaloes  running  from  the  river  where  they  had  gone 
for  water  and  had  been  frightened  by  Indians.  We  did  not  see 
the  Indians,  for  we  were  perfectly  protected  by  our  position. 
We  staid  there  and  let  our  animals  eat  grass  for  about  one  hour 
and  a  half.  We  then  started  on  again,  following  my  invisible 
guide,  in  an  easterly  direction,  over  *a  country  entirely  strange 
to  me.  We  traveled  on  until  after  dark,  when  we  came  to  a 
deep  wash  which  my  guide  directed  me  to  follow  down  to  the 
river.  I  did  so,  and  came  to  the  very  spot  where  the  Indians 
had  attacked  Captain  Mann  that  morning.  Fragments  of  the 
train  lay  scattered  all  over  the  plain.  Our  mules  were  much 
frightened,  perhaps  at  the  smell  of  the  blood.  We  watered  our 
animals,  and  filled  our  canteens  with  water.  The  night  was  still 
and  the  least  noise  would  echo  and  re-echo  through  the  river 
canyons,  until  it  made  the  place  more  than  horrid  for  people  in 
xmr  situation.  We  traveled  on  until  near  midnight,  when  we 
turned  out  our  animals,  tied  the  dog  to  the  wagon-tongue,  to 
give  us  a  guard,  then  all  lay  down  and  slept  until  day -light. 
We  never  camped  near  watering-places,  nor  near  the  road. 
Our  reasons  for  camping  away  from  water,  and  at  least  half  a 
mile  from  the  road,  were  to  avoid  the  Indians.  We  never  had  a 
.fire  at  night. 

The  next  day  we  found  a  large,  fat  young  mule,  with  all  its 
harness  on.  It  had  evidently  been  frightened  during  the  battle 
and  broke  away  from  the  command.  It  was  fully  forty  miles 
from  the  battle  ground.  I  was  much  in  need  of  fresh  animals, 
for  mine  were  nearly  given  out.  The  finding  of  this  mule,  as  we 
did,  gave  me  renewed  confidence  in  God,  and  strengthened  my 
belief  that  he  was  leading  us. 

The  next  day  we  traveled  on  in  the  same  direction.  The 
heavy  rains  had  made  the  grass  good.  Buffalo  were  constantly 
in  sight.  We  followed  our  course  three  days,  when  we  struck 
the  road  again  at  a  stream  called  Walnut  Creek.  Here  we  found 
a  large  Indian  encampment,  but  the  Indians  were  evidently  out 
on  a  buffalo  hunt.  We  crossed  the  creek  and  camped,  conclud- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  191 

ing  to  cook  our  supper  and  let  our  animals  eat  and  rest.  It 
was  no  use  trying  to  escape  from  the  Indians,  for  I  knew  they 
had  seen  us  and  could  capture  us  if  they  wished  to  do  so.  I 
•concluded  the  best  plan  was  to  appear  to  be  perfectly  easy  and. 
without  fear.  Soon  after  camping,  a  band  of  over  fifty  warriors 
surrounded  us.  I  offered  to  shake  hands  with  them  but  they 
refused.  I  then  offered  them  pins  and  needles  and  some  calico 
that  I  had  purchased  to  trade  to  the  Spaniards.  They  took  my 
profferd  gifts  and  dashed  them  on  the  ground.  I  began  to  feel 
that  although  we  had  been  delivered  from  many  former  dan- 
gers, our  time  had  at  last  come.  I  remarked  to  Lieut.  Gully, 
who  was  a  true  and  faithful  man : 

"Pray  in  your  heart  to  God,  and  ask  him  to  turn  away  the 
ire  of  these  people.  They  have  been  abused  by,  large  parties  of 
white  men  and.  soldiers.  They  think  we  are  of  that  class,  and 
that  we  are  only  friendly  because  we  are  in  their  power,  but  if 
they  know  who  we  are,  that  we  have  been  sent  to  preach  the 
gospel  to  them,  and  to  learn  them  its  truths  through  the  Book  oi 
Mormon,  they  would  die  sooner  than  see  us  hurt."  I  saw  an 
elderly-looking  Indian  turn  and  speak  to  a  noble  looking  young 
warrior.  They  talked  some  time,  and  would  occasionally  turn 
and  point  to  me.  Then  they  all  dismounted  and  came  nearer  to 
us.  The  old  man  raised  his  voice  and  talked  in  a  loud  tone, 
find  in  a  rapid  manner  to  his  men,  for  about  five  or  ten  minutes. 
The  young  warrior  then  turned  to  us  and  spoke  in  plain  English, 
very  much  to  our  surprise.  He  said: 

"  Young ,man,  this  is  my  father.  He  is  the  head  chief  of  the 
Osage  Indians.  I  have  been  educated  in  the  East.  We  came 
here  with  the  intention  of  scalping  you  all.  This  tribe  has  been 
abused  by  what  my  father  calls  the  pale-faces,  though  he  wishes 
to  be  friendly  with  them.  When  a  small  part  of  this  nation 
<?omes  in  contact  with  a  larger  force  of  pale-faces,  they  are  shot 
and  abused,  but  when  the  Indians  have  the  advantage  the  pale 
faces  are  always  wanting  to  be  friends.  We  thought  you  were 
of  that  class,  but  now  my  father  is  satisfied  you  are  good  men. 
I  have  read  the  Book  of  Mormon  to  him  and  to  our  tribe.  I  got 
the  book  from  a  preacher,  who  was  in  the  Cherokee  Nation.  My 
father  wishes  me  to  say  to  you  that  you  shall  not  be  hurt.  II 
you  wish  any  dried  buffalo  meat  you  can  have  all  that  you  want. 
Do  not  be  afraid,  we  will  not  harm  you,  but  you  had  better  re- 
main here  until  morning,  for  you  may  fall  in  with  some  of  my 


father's  braves,  who  will  not  know  who  you  are,  and  they  will 
attack  you.  If  you  stay  until  morning,  I  will  go  with  you  until 
you  are  out  of  danger."  I  replied  that  my  business  was  urgent, 
and  we  must  go  on,  that  we  had  letters  from  the  Mormon  battal- 
ion to  their  friends  at  home,  and  must  go  on  at  once.  The 
young  man  then  told  the  chief  what  I  said.  The  chief  then  said, 
through  the  young  warrior : 

"  If  you  cannot  stay,  I  will  send  word  to  the  other  chiefs  not 
to  hurt  you.  They  may  not  see  you,  as  they  are  away  from  the 
road,  but  I  will  send  some  hunters  out  to  tell  them  to  let  you 
pass  in  safety."  I  then  thanked  them  ver}'  kindly,  and  told 
them  I  was  raised  among  the  Delawares  and  Cherokees,  that 
when  a  child,  I  used  to  play  with  them  before  they  were  re- 
moved to  this  country,  and  that  I  was  still  their  friend.  They 
then  asked  if  we  wanted  any  dried  meat.  I  told  them  no,  that 
I  would  prefer  some  fresh  meat.  I  saw  a  buffalo  near  by,  and 
asked  them  to  kill  it,  and  bring  me  some  of  the  meat.  One  of 
the  Indians  rode  for  the  buffalo  at  the  full  speed  of  his  horse. 
The  well-trained  horse  stopped  when  near  the  buffalo,  and  the 
Indian  shot  it  down,  then  jumped  from  his  horse  and  cut  out  a 
piece  of  the  hump,  and  returned  with  it  before  we  were  ready  to 
start.  I  then  gave  the  Indians  what  trinkets  we  had,  and  started 
on  again.  It  was  now  after  sunset. 

Here  was  another  manifestation  of  the  providence  of  Almighty 
God.  I  felt  so  grateful  for  our  deliverance  that  I  could  not  re- 
strain my  tears  of  gratitude.  I  care  not  what  people  may  call 
me.  I  know  there  is  a  just  God,  and  a  rewarder  of  those  that 
diligently  seek  Him.  I  know  that  my  Redeemer  liveth  and  I 
shall  see  Him  for  myself  and  not  for  another.  Though  the  day 
of  my  execution  is  near  at  hand — four  days  only  are  given  me  to 
continue  the  history  of  my  life — (this  is  March  the  19th,  1877) — 
my  trust  is  in  that  Arm  that  cannot  be  broken.  Though  men 
may  err,  and  cruelly  betray  each  other  unto  death,  my  life  may 
be  taken  from  this  earth,  but  nevertheless  the  hope  of  my  call- 
ing in  Christ  Jesus,  my  Lord,  is  the  same  with  me.  I  am  sure 
that  I  shall  rest  in  peace.  I  must  not  suffer  my  feelings  to  over- 
come me,  or  destroy  the  thread  of  my  narrative.  I  wish  to  con- 
tinue while  time  affords  me  a  moment  here,  that  my  history  may 
live  when  I  am  no  more. 

The  next  day  only  two  Indians  came  to  us,  but  they  could  not 
talk  English,  and  we  could  not  speak  their  tongue,  so  we  had  no 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  193 

conversation.  I  am  certain  from  the  actions  of  the  two  Indians 
that  the  old  chief  had  kept  his  word  with  us  and  notified  his 
tribe  to  let  us  go  on  in  safety.  On  reaching  the  Pawnee  Fork, 
a  tributary  of  the  Arkansas  River,  we  found  Captain  Bullard's 
train  of  thirty  wagons.  They  lay  by  all  day  in  search  of  eight 
of  their  mules,  that  had  been  stampeded  by  the  Indians,  although 
they  had  been  picketed  and  closely  guarded.  The  company 
could  not  find  a  trace  of  them.  The  men  were  a  rough,  boister- 
ous set,  and,  while  our  animals  were  very  weary,  I  concluded  it 
was  still  best  to  go  further  before  camping.  It  was  then  rain- 
ing, but  that  made  the  traveling  better,  for  the  country  was 
quite  sandy.  We  camped  late  that  night  at  Ash  Creek.  We 
now  felt  that  we  were  over  the  worst  of  our  dangers,  but  we  still 
had  sufficient  of  trials  before  us  to  keep  it  from  being  a  pleasure 
trip.  Next  morning  our  riding  animals  were  unable  to  travel. 
They  refused  to  go  on.  I  again  went  to  God  in  prayer  and  laid 
our  case  before  Him,  and  asked  that  He  would  open  up  the  way 
for  our  deliverance.  That  night  I  dreamed  that  I  was  exceed- 
ingly hungry  and  had  little  to  eat,  when  five  ears  of  large,  solid 
corn  were  handed  me  by  a  person,  who  said,  "This  will  do  you 
until  you  get  to  where  there  is  plenty."  The  ears  of  corn  were 
of  different  colors ;  one  ear  was  jet  black,  but  perfectly  sound ; 
one  was  red,  and  ope  was  yellow.  I  was  much  pleased  with  the 
corn  and  felt  that  there  was  not  much  danger  of  suffering  now. 
The  next  morning  our  animals  still  looked  fearfully  bad ;  only 
two  of  our  riding  animals  could  raise  the  trot.  Lieut.  Gully 
said  unless  God  soon  sent  us  some  fresh  animals  we  would  have 
to  give  up. 

"We  will  not  give  up,"  said  I.  "God  has  protected  us  thus 
far  and  we  must  still  trust  in  Him — in  the  eleventh  hour  of  our 
trouble  He  will  aid  us.  We  will  find  help  to-day." 

"  I  hope  so,"  said  he. 

He  then  said,   "  Have  you  been  dreaming  again?  " 

I  related  to  him  my  dream  about  the  corn,  and  said  I  thought 

the  ears  of  corn  meant  mules.     After  prayer  (we  always  kneeled 

in  prayer,    night  and   morning)  we  started  on  our  way.     The 

"mules  could  hardly  travel.     We  made  about  six  miles,  when  we 

saw  fresh  tracks  made  by  shod  animals,  that  appeared  to  be 

dragging  long  ropes  and  pins.     The  tracks  were  following  the 

road,  going  in  the  same  direction  that  we  were  traveling.     We 

had  a  long  down  grade  before  us.     The  plain  was  dotted  here 



and  there  with  herds  of  buffalo.  I  halted  and  took  up  my 
spy-glass,  and  took  a  careful  survey  of  the  country.  My  efforts 
were  rewarded  by  the  sight  of  a  number  of  mules  feeding  among 
the  buffalo.  We  went  on  until  we  arrived  as  near  them  as  we 
could  get  without  leaving  the  road.  We  called  a  halt,  turned 
our  mules  loose,  then  took  out  the  oil-cloth  that  I  had  to  feed 
the  mules  on,  and  took  a  little  of  the  grain  we  had  left,  and  put 
it  on  the  cloth.  The  strange  mules  saw  it,  and  came  running 
-  up  to  us  to  get  a  feed  of  grain.  We  then  got  hold  of  the  ropes 
that  were  on  the  necks  of  four  of  the  mules,  and  tied  them  to- 
gether. There  was  a  black  mare  mule  that  was  quite  shy,  but 
I  finally  caught  the  rope  that  was  on  her  neck.  The  mule  at 

?      once  came  at  me  with  her  ears  turned  back  and  mouth  open. 

i      She  caught  me  by  the  arm  and  bit  me  severely,  then  turned  and 

'\     ran  away.     Lieutenant  Gully  said: 

"  Let  her  go,  she  will  kill  some  of  us." 

"No,  we  will  not  let  her  go,  we  need  all  the  mules,"  said  I. 
I  again  caught  her,  and  she1  made  for  me  again,  but  I  caught 
the  rope  near  the  end  where  it  was  fastened  to  an  iron  pin,  and 
struck  her  a  blow  with  the  pin,  which  knocked  her  down.  I  then 
placed  my  knee  on  her  neck,  and  caught  her  by  the  nose  with 
my  hands.  I  held  her  this  way  until  a  bridle  was  put  on  her, 
after  which  we  were  able  to  manage  her  easijy.  I  then  hitched 
this  wild  mule  to  the  wagon  by  the  side  of  Friendship.  We  then 
had  fresh  riding  animals,  and  turned  our  jaded  ones  loose,  and 
drove  them  before  us.  At  Kane  Creek  we  lost  the  mule  that  I 
got  from  the  soldiers  at  Santa  Fe.  It  drank  more  of  the  alkali 
wa,ter  than  was  good  for  it,  so  we  left  it  on  the  plains  and  went 
our  way.  We  saw  so  many  fresh  Indian  signs  around  there  that 
we  knew  we  had  no  time  to  stay  attending  sick  mules.  A 

\  few  nights  afterwards  I  saw  a  large  body  of  Indians  among  the 
cedars  on  a  mountain,  not  far  off,  but  our  lucky  star  was  guiding 
us,  for  soon  after  that  we  met  three  hundred  soldiers,  with  whom 
we  camped  that  night.  The  force  was  so  strong  that  the  Indians 
did  not  attack  us.  Next  day  we  met  soldiers  very  frequently, 
and  every  few  hours  we  would  meet  a  body  of  troops  from  that 
time  until  we  reached  Fort  Leavenworth.  It  was  storming  very 
hard  when  we  got  to  St.  Joseph,  Missouri.  We  put  up  at  a  ho- 
tel, but  before  our  animals  were  in  the  stable,  Egan  was  gone, 
and  I  could  not  find  him  that  night,  yet  we  searched  for  him 
very  diligently.  I  was  fearful  that  he  would  be  robbed,  but  he 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  195 

happened  to  meet  some  honest  men  who  put  him  in  bed,  and 
kept  him  and  his  money  in  safety  until  morning,  when  we  found 

After  leaving  St.  Joseph,  where  we  had  purchased  a  lot  of 
supplies,  we  started  for  winter  quarters,  and  had  to  go  through 
from  six  to  ten  feet  of  snow,  the  whole  distance.  We  reached 
our  friends  in  safety.  I  had  two  hundred  dollars  that  the  sol- 
diers had  made  me  a  present  of.  I  took  three  of  the  mules  we 
had  found  on  the  way,  and  divided  the  others  between  my  com- 
panions. We  reached  winter  quarters,  now  called  Florence, 
on  the  15th  day  of  December,  1846.  The  snow  was  deep,  my 
family  all  living  in  tents,  and  in  a  suffering  condition ;  but  I 
must  report  first,  as  it  is  usual  to  pay  homage  to  the  man  of 
God,  Brigham  Young,  then  attend  to  my  family,  but  when  I 
saw  my  family  exposed  to  the  pelting  storms  of  Winter,  while  all 
others  had  comfortable  log  houses,  I  was  angry.  I  cannot  say  I 
was  disappointed,  for  it  was  not  the  first  time  that  Brigham 
Young  and  others  in  authority  had  broken  their  promises  made 
to  me.  My  family  received  me  as  they  always  did,  with  open 
.arms  and  thankful  hearts. 




HAD  brought  home  with  me  about  all  that  my  team  could 
haul  of  supplies,  clothing,  groceries,  etc.,  which  soon  made 
my  family  comfortaffte.  I  had  met  President  Young  and  shaken 
hands  with  him,  but  had  not  made  my  report  or  delivered  the 
money  to  him.  The  next  morning  the  President  called  to  see 
me,  and  notified  me  that  the  Council  would  meet  at  nine  o'clock 
at  Dr.  Richards',  and  for  me  to  be  there  and  make  my  report. 
He  appeared  greatly  ashamed  at  the  manner  my  family  had 
been  treated.  I  said : 

"  President  Young,  how  does  this  compare  with  your  prom- 
ises to  me,  when  I  trusted  all  to  you?  I  took  my  life  in  my 
hands  and  went  into  that  Indian  country,  on  that  perilous  trip,  a 
distance  of  two  thousand  two  hundred  miles,  through  savage 
foes,  to  carry  out  your  orders.  I  have  found  things  as  I  feared 
they  would  be.  When  I  started  I  asked  you  to  care  for  my 
family,  and  you  promised  all  that  I  asked  of  you.  Now  I  see  all 
my  family  exposed  to  the  storm ;  they,  of  all  the  camp,  are  with- 
out houses.  My  best  cattle  have  been  butchered  and  eaten,  but 
not  by  my  family.  The  choice  beef  has  been  given  to  your 
favorites,  and  the  refuse  given  to  my  wives  and  children."  The 
President  replied : 

"Brother  John,  I  am  ashamed  of  the  conduct  of  this  people. 
I  have  mentioned  the  situation  of  your  family  several  times,  but 
the  brethren  did  not  feel  like  building  houses  for  others  until 
they  had  their  own  houses  completed.  I  was  intending  thi& 
very  day  to  call  a  meeting  and  have  the  brethren  turn  out  and 
build  houses  for  your  family.  Do  not  blame  me,  Brother  John, 
for  I  have  done  the  best  that  I  could."  Then  putting  his  hand 
on  my  shoulder,  he  said:  "Don't  feel  bad  about  it.  You  will 
live  through,  and  the  day  will  come  when  we  can  look  back  and 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  197 

see  what  we  have  endured  for  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven's  sake, 
and  will  rejoice  that  we  have  passed  through  it."  Then  he 
wound  up  by  saying,  "Lord  bless  you,  Brother  John.  You  can 
now  begin  and  make  your  family  more  comfortable  than  nine- 
tenths  of  these  people,  for  it  does  not  take  you  long  to  put  things 
in  shape.  Come,  cheer  up,  and  you  shall  have  $100  of  the 
money  for  your  services,  and  you  can  make  a  thousand  out  of 
it."  But  this,  like  all  his  other  promises,  fell  to  the  ground,  for 
I  never  got  a  cent  of  the  money. 

I  met  the  Council,  and  made  my  report,  and  handed  over  the 
checks  for  the  money  sent  home  by  the  soldiers.  I  received 
blessings  without  end,  but  all  of  them  to  come  in  the  future,  and 
also  on  condition  that  I  remained  faithful  to  the  end. 

Allow  me  to  jump  from  1847  to  1877,  just  thirty  years, 
and  let  the  future  tell  my  experience  of  that  time,  and 
what  my  prospects  are  to-day.  As  I  said,  my  promised 
blessings '  were  all  to  be  received  in  the  future,  and  that  too 
upon  condition  that  I  remained  faithful  to  the  end.  I  was 
adopted  by  Brigham  Young,  and  was  to  seek  his  temporal  in- 
terests here,  and  in  return  he  was  to  seek  my  spiritual  salvation, 
I  being  an  heir  of  his  family,  and  was  to  share  his  blessings  in 
common  with  his  other  heirs.  True  to  my  pledges,  I  have  at  all 
times  tried  to  do  his  bidding.  I  have  let  him  direct  my  energies 
in  all  things.  And  now  the  time  has  come  for  me  to  prepare  to 
receive  my  reward.  An  offering  must  be  made,  and  I  must  pre- 
pare the  wood  and  build  the  altar ;  then,  as  Abraham  of  old  did 
with  his  son  Isaac,  be  placed  upon  the  altar  as  the  sacrifice.  But 
the  Lord,  or  Abraham,  had  a  ram  tied  in  the  thicket,  when  the 
hand  of  the  Lord  stretched  forth  and  staid  the  fatal  blow.  But 
I  doubt  whether  my  father  Brigham  has  been  as  thoughtful  as 
Abraham  was,  I  think  not ;  I  must  meet  my  fate  without  mur- 
muring or  complaining.  I  must  tamely  submit,  and  be  true  to  the 
end.  I  must  not  speak  a  word  against  the  Lord's  anointed,  for 
if  I  do,  I  must  lose  the  blessings  promised  for  all  that  I  have 
done.  If  I  endure  firm  to  the  end,  I  will  receive  the  martyr's 
crown,  and  my  son  will  represent  me  here  on  earth,  and  carry 
on  my  work  for  an  eternal  state.  This,  to  me,  appears  to  be  a 
hard  way  to  receive  my  pay.  I  would  rather  lose  the  debt, 
and  begin  anew,  if  I  could.  But  it  is  now  too  late  for  escape 
from  the  fate  that  awaits  me.  It  is  said  that  experience  teaches 


a  dear  school,  and  that  fools  will  learn  at  no  other.  I  fear  that  I 
have  paid  a  little  too  much  for  mine. 

My  first  duty  was  to  build  some  comfortable  houses  for  my 
family.  Soon  afterwards  I  was  sent  to  St.  Joseph  to  cash  the 
checks  and  purchase  some  goods  to  supply  the  wants  of  the  peo- 
ple. I  was  directed  to  purchase  a  lot  of  salt  and  potatoes  from 
a  Frenchman  at  Trading  Point.  I  did  so,  and  bought  $300 
worth  on  credit  and  sent  them  back  to  the  settlement.  I  had  to 
borrow  the  money  from  Mrs.  Armstrong  to  pay  the  $300  debt. 
But  she  was  afterwards  sealed  to  me,  and  it  was  then  all  in  the 
family,  and  I  never  asked  Brigham  Young  for  it  and  he  never 
offered  to  pay  it.  He  owes  it  to  me  yet.  On  that  trip  to  St. 
Joseph  I  bought  $1,500  worth  of  goods,  such  as  were  needed  at 
the  settlement.  I  advanced  $700  of  my  own  money  and  the  re- 
mainder was  from  the  money  sent  home  by  the  Mormon  Battal- 
ion. I  took  the  goods  back  and  we  opened  a  store  at  winter 
quarters.  A.  P.  Rockwood  acted  as  chief  clerk  and  salesman. 
We  sold  the  goods  at  a  great  advance.  What  cost  us  seven 
cents  at  St.  Joseph,  we  sold  at  sixty-five  cents,  and  everything 
was  sold  at  a  similar  profit.  I  kept  the  stock  up  during  the 
Winter  and  did  a  good  business.  One  drawback  was  this :  many 
of  the  families  of  the  men  who  were  in  the  Mormon  Battalion 
had  no  money,  and  we  had  to  let  them  have  goods  on  credit,  but 
I  had  to  stand  the  loss  myself,  for  few  of  the  men  ever  paid  a 
dollar  due  me  when  they  returned.  Andrew  Little  was  in  the 
battalion,  and  at  the  request  of  Brigham  Young  I  let  his  family 
have  $258  worth  of  goods,  and  Brigham  said  I  should  have  my 
money  when  Little  returned,  but  I  never  got  any  of  it.  Little 
was  also  an  adopted  son  of  Brigham  Young,  and  consequently 
did  about  as  he  pleased.  James  Pace,  Thomas  Woolsey,  and  a 
few  others  of  the  soldiers,  paid  me  when  they  returned,  for  what 
I  had  advanced  their  families,  but  the  majority  never  paid. 
When  I  returned  from  Santa  Fe  I  found  David  Young,  his  wife 
and  two  daughters,  lying  sick  and  helpless ;  really  in  want.  I 
took  care  of  them  and  supplied  them  with  food  and  such  articles 
as  they  required,  until  the  death  of  the  father,  mother  and  one 
son,  which  took  place  in  a  short  time — a  few  months  after  my 
return  home.  I  had  baptized  this  family  in  Putnam  County, 
Tennessee,  and  felt  a  great  interest  in  them.  The  two  girls  were 
sealed  to  me  while  we  staid  at  winter  quarters,  and  became 
members  of  my  family.  They  are  both  still  living.  By  them  I 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  199 

have  three  sons  and  three  daughters.  They  were  sealed  to  me 
in  1847.  I  was  also  sealed  to  Nancy  Armstrong  the  same  even- 
ing that  I  took  the  Young  girls  to  wife.  A  few  evenings  after- 
wards I  was  sealed  to  Emeline  Woolsey.  She  was  my  thirteenth 
wife.  Nancy  Armstrong's  maiden  name  was  Gibbons.  She  was 
the  wife  of  a  wealthy  merchant  by  the  name  of  Armstrong,  who 
owned  a  large  establishment  in  Louisville,  Kentucky,  and  an- 
other in  Carlisle,  Kentucky,  at  which  places  he  did  business  as 
wholesale  and  retail  dealer  in  dry  goods.  I  became  acquainted 
with  the  family  at  Carlisle,  Overton  County,  Tennessee,  while 
preaching  there.  The  people  of  Carlisle  were  bitter  enemies  of 
the  Mormon  Church,  and  a  mob  threatened  to  tar  and  feather 
me  one  night,  when  Armstrong  took  me  home  with  him  and  pro- 
tected me.  He  was  not  a  believer  in  any  religion,  but  I  always 
considered  him  a  high-minded,  honorable  man.  I  afterwards 
stopped  at  the  house  often.  His  wife  and  sister  Sarah  were 
believers  in  the  Mormon  faith,  but  as  Mr.  Armstrong  was  not,  I 
advised  his  wife  not  to  become  a  member  of  the  Church,  and  re- 
fused to  baptize  her  until  such  time  as  her  htisband  would  con- 
sent to  it.  Elder  Smoot  afterwards  baptized  Sarah  Gibbons  and 
Nancy  Armstrong. 

Brother  Smoot  had  taken  his  wife  with  him  on  the  mission, 
and  she  laid  the  plan  to  get  Sarah  to  go  to  Nauvoo.  A  wagon 
was  sent  to  take  Sarah  Gibbons'  goods  to  Nauvoo,  and  in  it  Mrs. 
Armstrong  sent  her  valuable  clothing  and  jewelry,  amounting  to 
some  two  thousand  dollars.  She  intended  to  join  the  Saints 
at  the  first  chance.  A  few  months  after  Sarah  had  gone  Mrs. 
Armstrong  got  the  consent  of  her  husband  that  she  might  pay 
a  visit  to  her  sister  and  the  Church  at  Nauvoo;  he  fitted  her 
up  in  fine  styte,  sending  two  serving  maids  to  wait  on  her.  Soon 
after  she  left  home,  the  friends  of  Armstrong  advised  him  to 
stop  his  slaves  at  St.  Louis,  if  he  wanted  to  keep  them,  for  his 
wife  would  never  return  to  him.  Armstrong  stopped  the  slaves, 
and  his  wife  went  on  to  Nauvoo,  where  she  staid  until  the  Saints 
left  that  place  after  the  death  of  the  Prophet.  I  am  satisfied 
that  Smoot  laid  the  plan  to  get  Mrs.  Armstrong  to  Nauvoo,  so 
he  could  be  sealed  to  her  and  get  her  property.  Sarah  Gibbons 
was  sealed  to  Elder  Smoot,  but  Mrs.  Armstrong  would  not  con- 
consent  to  take  him  as  her  husband,  but  she  lived  in  the  family 
until  she  got  disgusted  with  Smoot' s  cruel  treatment  of  her 
sister.  She  loaned  him  nearly  all  her  money  and  he  never  paid 


it  back ;  he  wanted  the  rest  of  it,  but  she  refused  to  let  him 
have  it ;  he  then  refused  to  take  her  with  him  across  the  plains. 
She  told  her  griefs  to  my  wife  Rachel,  and  Rachel  brought 
about  the  marriage  between  her  and  myself. 

Mrs.  Armstrong  said  to  Rachel  that  I  was  the  first  man  on 
earth  to  bring  the  gospel  to  her,  and  that  she  had  always  had  a 
great  regard  for  me  since  she  first  saw  me,  but  that  I  appeared 
to  treat  her  coldly.  Rachel  told  her  that  I  always  spoke  kindly 
of  her,  and  that  the  reason  I  had  not  been  more  friendly,  was 
because  I  had  thought  she  wanted  to  become  a  member  of  Broth- 
er Smoot's  family ;  that  she  had  heard  me  speak  of  her  in  terms 
of  praise  many  times.  Finally  she  came  to  my  house  and  I 
asked  her  in  the  presence  of  my  wives,  if  she  wished  to  become  a 
member  of  my  family.  She  said  she  did.  My  wives  advised  me 
to  be  sealed  to  her,  and  as  the  matter  was  agreeable  all  round,  I 
did  so.  Brigham  Young  sealed  her  and  the  Young  girls  to  me. 
She  was  a  true,  affectionate  woman.  My  whole  family  respected 
her.  She  was  forty-eight  years  of  age  when  she  was  sealed  to 
me,  and  she  was  a  true  wife  until  her  death.  In  all  matters  of 
this  kind  I  tried  to  act  from  principle  and  not  from  passion. 
Yet  I  do  not  pretend  to  say  that  all  such  acts  were  directed  by 
principle,  for  I  know  they  were  not.  I  am  not  blind  to  nay  own 
faults.  I  have  been  a  proud,  vain  man,  and  in  my  younger  days 
I  thought  I  was  perfection.  In  those  days  I  did  not  almost 
make  due  allowance  for  the  failings  of  the  weaker  vessels.  I  then 
expected  perfection  in  all  women.  I  know  now  that  I  was  fool- 
ish in  looking  for  that  in  anything  human.  I  have,  for  slight  of- 
fences, turned  away  good  meaning  young  women  that  had  been 
sealed  to  me  and  refused  to  hear  their  excuses,  but  sent  them 
away  heart-broken.  In  this  I  did  wrong.  I  have  regretted  the 
same  in  sorrow  for  many  years.  Two  of  the  young  women  so 
used,  still  have  warm  hearts  for  me,  notwithstanding  my  unnatural 
conduct  toward  them.  They  were  3'oung  and  in  the  prime  of 
life  when  I  sent  them  from  me.  They  have  since  married  again, 
and  are  the  mothers  of  nice  families.  They  frequently  send 
letters  to  comfort  me  in  my  troubles  and  afflictions,  but  their 
kind  remembrances  only  serve  to  add  to  my  self-reproach  for 
my  cruel  treatment  of  them  in  past  years.  I  banished  them 
from  me  for  less  offences  than  I  had  myself  been  guilty  of. 
Should  my  history  ever  fall  into  the  hands  of  Emeline  Woolsey  or 
Polly  Ann  Workman,  I  wish  them  to  know  that,  with  my  last 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  201 

breath,  I  ask  God  to  pardon  me  for  the  wrong  I  did  them,  when 
I  drove  them  from  me,  poor  young  girls  as  they  were. 

President  Young  built  a  grist  mill  during  the  Winter,  and 
ground  meal  for  the  people,  charging  a  heavy  toll  for  all  that 
the  mill  ground.  In  the  Spring  I  was  ordered  to  go  out  and 
preach,  and  raise  thirty-three  wagons  and  the  mules  and  harness 
to  draw  them.  I  succeeded  in  getting  thirty  of  the  teams. 
Brigham  Young  told  me  to  go  again,  that  he  asked  for  thirty- 
three  teams,  not  for  thirty.  I  went  again,  and  preached  so  that 
I  soon  had  the  other  teams.  I  then  turned  the  whole  outfit  over 
to  Brigham  Young,  so  he  could  send  his  pioneers  out  to  look  up 
a  new  home  for  the  Saints.  I  then  offered  to  go  with  the  com- 
pany, but  Brigham  Young  said : 

"  I  cannot  spare  you ;  I  can  spare  others  better  than  you." 

He  then  directed  me  to  take  my  family  and  a  company,  and 
go  and  raise  corn  for  the  people.  He  said : 

"  I  want  you  to  take  a  company,  with  your  family,  and  go  up 
the  river,  and  open  up  a  farm,  and  raise  grain  and  vegetables 
to  feed  the  needy,  and  the  soldiers'  families,  for  we  cannot  de- 
pend on  hauling  our  substance  fro.m  Missouri,  to  feed  so  many 
as  we  have  on  our  hands.  I  want  so  much  grain  raised  that  all 
will  be  supplied  next  Winter,  for  we  must  feed  our  animals  grain 
if  we  wish  them  to  cross  the  plains  next  Spring.  There  is  an  old 
military  fort  about  eighteen  miles  above  here,  where  the  land 
was  once  farmed,  and  that  land  is  in  good  condition  for  farming 
now.  We  will  leave  Father  Morley  in  charge  of  the  various 
settlements.  Brother  Heber  C.  Kimball  will  send  some  of  his 
boys  and  make  another  farm  this  side  of  there." 

Then  turning  to  Father  Morley,  he  said  : 

"  I  want  John  to  take  charge  of  the  farming  interests  and  the 
settlement,  at  my  place,  and  you  must  counsel  and  advise  with 
him  from  time  to  time.  I  want  you  and  all  the  brethren  to  un- 
derstand that  the  land  nearest  the  settlement  is  to  be  divided 
between  John  and  his  wives,  for  they  are  all  workers,  and  the 
others  are  to  go  further  for  their  land." 

I  said  that  kind  of  an  arrangement  would  not  give  satisfaction 
to  the  people,  and  that  there  were  some  of  his  adopted  sons 
now  jealous  of  me,  and  I  feared  the  consequences,  and  preferred 
that  the  land  be  divided  nearer  equal. 

He  said,  "  Who  are  they  that  are  jealous  of  you?  " 

I  named  several  persons  to  him.     In  reply  he  said,  naming  a 


man,  he  would  work  all  day  under  the  shade  of  a  tree.  Anothery 
he  said,  could  work  all  day  in  a  half-bushel.  Then  he  said: 

"  Such  men  will  do  but  little ;  let  them  go  to  some  outside 
place  for  their  land.  I  want  those  who  will  work  to  have  the- 
best  land.  Let  each  family  have  an  acre  near  by  for  a  garden 
and  truck  patch.  And  now,  Father  Morley,  I  want  you  to  see 
that  John  and  his  family  have  all  the  cleared  land  that  they  can 
tend,  for  I  know  they  will  raise  a  good  crop,  and  when  it  is 
raised  we  can  all  share  it  with  him.  I  want  a  company  to  follow 
Brother  Lee,  about  the  first  of  May,  when  the  grass  is  good,  of 
such  men  as  can  fit  themselves  out  comfortably.  My  brother, 
John  Young,  will  lead  them,  and  Jedde  Grant  will  be  the 

Then  he  turned  to  me  and  said : 

"  Brother  John  D.,  I  want  you  to  fit  my  brother  John  out.  If 
he  needs  oxen  let  him  have  them,  and  I  will  pay  them  back 
again ;  see  that  he  gets  a  good  outfit.  When  he  leaves  here 
Father  Morley  will  take  charge  of  the  Church.  I  want  the  Breth- 
ren to  do  as  John  D.  tells  them ;  he  carries  a  good  influence 
wherever  he  goes ;  no  evil  reports  follow  him  from  his  field  of 
labor ;  all  respect  him,  and  that  is  good  evidence  to  me  that  he 
carries  himself  straight. " 

I  then  settled  up  my  business  at  the  winter  quarters.  Presi- 
dent Young  was  indebted  to  the  firm  $285  ;  of  course  he  had  not 
the  money  to  settle  the  account,  and  he  was  just  starting  to  look 
out  a  resting  place  for  the  Saints.  His  first  adopted  son,  A.  P. 
Rockwood,  our  salesman,  could  not  spare  a  dollar  to  help  his 
Father,  Brigham  Young,  so  the  loss  of  that  sum  of  money  fell 
on  me. 

I  told  my  adopted  father,  Brigham  Young,  that  he  was  wel- 
come to  the  $285.  Before  he  left  for  the  new  land  of  promise,  he 
said  to  me, 

"  My  son  John,  what  shall  I  do  for  you?" 

I  said,  "Select  me  an  inheritance  when  you  find  the  resting- 

"I  will  remember  you.  May  Heaven  bless  you.  I  bless 
you.  Be  a  good  boy.  Keep  an  account  of  how  each  man,  un- 
der your  charge,  occupies  his  time,  while  I  am  gone." 

He  then  said  I  was  to  have  half  of  all  the  improvements  that 
were  made,  and  half  of  the  crop  that  was  raised  by  the  company 
that  I  fitted  out  with  teams,  seed  and  provisions.  The  pioneer 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  203: 

company  started  April  1st,  1847.  We  moved  to  our  new  loca- 
tion, and  called  it  Summer  Quarters.  We  laid  out  a  fort  to  pro- 
tect us  from  the  Indians,  as  they  were  troublesome.  We  then 
laid  off  our  land.  I  found  out  that  if  I  obeyed  orders,  it  would 
require  all  the  cleared  land  for  my  family,  so  I  took  and  laid  off 
three  acres  for  each  family — there  were  thirt}'-seven  families — 
for  gardens,  and  I  took  the  balance.  Although  I  had  given  each 
family  three  times  as  much  land,  for  a  garden  and  truck-patch, 
as  Brigham  Young  had  ordered,  still  the  people  found  a  great 
deal  of  fault  with  me.  Mrs.  Armstrong  had  some  money  left, 
and  she  told  me  to  take  it,  and  send  for  supplies  and  seed-corn. 
I  did  take  it,  and  sent  four  teams  to  Missouri  for  seed-corn  and 
provisions,  and  then  put  all  hands  to  work  building  the  fort,  put- 
ting the  land  in  order  for  the  crop,  etc.  About  the  first  of  May, 
thirty-eight  warriors  of  the  Oto  tribe  came  to  our  camp.  They 
were  in  full  paint,  and  on  the  war-path.  They  came  in  on  the  yell, 
and  at  full  speed.  It  was  just  after  daylight ;  I  was  lading  the 
foundation  of  a  house  when  they  came  to  me.  I  threw  logs 
against  them  the  same  as  if  I  did  not  see  them,  but  most  of  the 
brethren  kept  out  of  sight.  The  Indians  began  to  build  a  fire 
in  my  garden,  and  one  of  them  raised  his  gun  to  shoot  one  of 
my  oxen,  which  the  boys  were  then  driving  up.  The  majority 
of  the  Indians  then  formed  a  half-circle,  holding  their  bows  fully 
sprung,  and  commenced  a  regular  war  dance.  We  were  told 
not  to  shoot  Indians,  but  to  take  sticks  and  whale  them  when 
they  commenced  any  depredations.  As  the  Indian  took  the 
leather-casing  from  his  gun,  so  that  he  could  shoot,  I  rushed  at 
him  with  a  heavy  club,  with  the  intention  of  knocking  down  as 
many  of  them  as  I  could.  I  could  speak  their  language  some, 
so  I  told  them  I  would  kill  them  all  if  they  shot  my  ox.  They 
saw  that  I  meant  what  I  said.  Then  the  two  chiefs  held  out 
their  hands,  and  yelled  to  the  warrior  not  to  shoot.  He  lowered 
his  gun  and  returned  to  the  crowd,  but  he  was  very  angry. 
The  other  Indians  seemed  amazed,  and  stood  as  if  they  were 
paralyzed.  Old  man  A.  K.  Knight  followed  me  with  a  club, 
and  stood  by  me  all  the  time.  Joseph  Busby  said: 

"Hold  on,  Brother  Lee,  they  out-number  us."  . 

"Out-number  h — 1,"  said  I,  "there  are  not  Indians  enough 
in  their  whole  nation  to  make  me  stand  by  and  see  them  shoot 
down  my  oxen  before  my  eyes." 

Busby  then  ran  into  the  house  to  load  my  gun,  but  he  was  so 


frightened  be  could  not  get  the  powder  in  the  gun,  so  my  wife, 
Rachel,  loaded  it  for  him.  I  looked  around  to  see  how  things 
were,  and  I  saw  seven  of  my  wives  standing  with  guns  in  their 
hands,  ready  to  shoot  if  I  was  attacked. 

I  succeeded  in  driving  the  whole  band  of  Indians  away  from 
the  settlement. 

Sometime  after  the  Indians  had  gone  away  an  old  chief  re- 
turned and  brought  an  ax,  that  he  said  one  of  his  braves  had 
stolen.  I  gave  him  a  little  ammunition  and  some  bread,  and  he 
left  me  as  a  friend.  My  firm  stand  saved  the  settlement  at  that 
time  and  secured  it  from  molestation  in  the  future.  The  Indians 
never  bothered  us  at  Summer  Quarters  again.  In  the  Fall  they 
made  us  a  friendly  visit,  and  called  me  a  Sioux  Captain.  Near 
our  settlement  there  was  an  abundance  of  wild  game — deer,  tur- 
key, prairie  chickens,  ducks,  geese,  brant,  squirrels,  etc.,  which 
gave  us  much  of  our  food  during  our  stay  there.  We  worked 
diligently  and  raised  an  abundant  crop  of  corn  and  vegetables. 
We  built  good,  comfortable  houses,  and  made  the  floors  and 
roofs  of  bass-wood,  which  was  abundant,  near  by,  and  worked 
easily.  In  July  the  people  were  nearly  all  sick.  The  fever  and 
ague  were  nearly  a  contagion.  Other  diseases  were  not  uncom- 
mon. In  August  and  September  seventeen  of  our  people  died. 
During  those  months  we  had  hardly  a  sufficient  number  of  well 
people  to  attend  to  the  sick.  The  most  of  my  family  were  very 
sick.  My  little  son,  Heber  John,  the  child  of  my  first  wife, 
Agatha  Ann,  died;  also  David  Young,  Sr.,  the  father  of  my  two 
wives,  Polly  and  Louisa ;  also  their  brother,  David  Young,  Jr. 
I  also  lay  at  the  point  of  death  for  some  time.  I  was  in  a  trance 
about  one  hour  and  a  half.  While  in  this  condition  my  wives, 
Rachel  A.  and  Nancy  GL ,  stood  over  me  like  guardian  angels, 
and  prayed  constantly  for  me.  My  spirit  left  the  body  and  I  was 
taken  into  another  sphere,  where  I  saw  myriads  of  people — many 
of  whom  I  was  acquainted  with  and  had  known  on  earth.  The 
atmosphere  that  they  dwelt  in  was  pure  and  hallowed.  Pain 
and  sorrow  were  unknown,  or  at  least  were  not  felt  there.  All 
was  joy  and  peace.  Each  spirit  was  blest  with  all  the  pleasure 
its  ability  enabled  it  to  comprehend  and  enjoy.  They  had  full 
knowledge  of  the  earthly  doings  and  also  of  the  sphere  where 
they  were  so  blest.  The  glory  of  God  shone  upon  them,  and  the 
power  of  Heaven  overshadowed  them  all,  and  was  to  them  a  per- 
fect shield  from  all  temptations  and  dangers.  I  was  anxious  to 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  205 

remain  there,  but  the  spirits  told  me  that  I  must  return  to  the 
body  and  remain  in  it  until  my  appointed  time  for  death — that 
my  work  on  earth  was  not  yet  finished.  I  Obeyed,  but  did  so 
with  great  reluctance,  and  once  more  entered  the  body,  then  ap- 
parently lifeless  upon  the  bed  of  sickness.  After  taking  posses- 
sion of  the  body  again  I  lay  some  time  in  deep  thought,  contem- 
plating the  majesty  of  God's  works.  I  then  spoke  to  my  faith- 
ful nurses,  and  told  them  of  what  I  had  done,  heard  and  wit- 
nessed. I  soon  recovered  from  my  sickness,  but  my  life  was  for 
some  time  a  misery  to  me.  I  longed  to  join  that  angelic  host 
that  I  had  so  lately  visited  in  their  mansions  of  glory  and  pleas- 
ure, where  I  knew  I  was  to  go  when  I  could  escape  from  this- 
body  of  earthly  material.  This  feeling  of  anxiety  to  go  to  my 
eternal  rest  was  greatly  strengthened  by  the  bitter,  malignant 
actions  of  men  who  acted  like  demons  toward  me  and  mine. 
Every  species  of  intrigue  and  meanness  was  resorted  to  by  some 
of  the  brethren  to  injure  and  torment  me.  They  were  jealous 
of  me  and  anxious  to  provoke  me  to  violence.  Everything  that 
envy  and  hatred  could  suggest  was  tried,  to  break  up  and  scat- 
ter my  family.  Finally  they  reported  to  Father  Morley  that 
nothing  but  a  change  of  rulers  in  the  settlement  would  bring 
peace  again. 

Father  Morley  came,  with  several  Elders,  and  called  a  meet- 
ing, at  which  he  heard  all  the  parties  state  their  grievances 
against  me.  He  then  told  them  that  they  had  brought  nothing 
against  me  that  reflected  upon  me  as  presiding  officer ;  that  I 
had  acted  well  and  for  the  best  interest  of  the  entire  people ; 
that  all  the  trouble  was  from  the  wrong  acts  of  the  people. 

One  of  the  brethren,  C.  Kennedy,  proposed  a  change.  He 
wanted  a  High  Priest  to  preside  instead  of  a  Seventy.  I  was 
tired  of  my  position  and  consented  to  the  change.  A  man  by 
the  name  of  Fuller  was  selected  by  Kennedy  to  rule  over  the 
people.  Father  Morley  put  the  question  to  a  vote  of  the  peo- 
ple, and  said  that  all  who  wished  for  a  change  of  rulers  should 
hold  up  their  hands.  Only  ,two  hands  were  raised.  Then  he 
said  that  all  who  wished  me  to  remain  in  charge  should  raise 
their  hands,  when  every  person  present  but  two  voted  that  I 
should  still  be  the  ruler  of  that  people  at  Summer  Quarters. 

Father  Morley  then  called  upon  the  two  brethren  who  voted 
against  me  to  get  up  and  tell  what  they  had  against  me.  They 
could  give  no  good  reason  for  wanting  a  change.  They  said 


they  never  lived  by  a  better  neighbor  or  kinder  hearted  man 
than  I  was,  but  that  I  was  too  kind ;  that  I  let  the  people  run 
over  me ;  that  they  voted  for  a  change  believing  it  would  tend 
to  unite  the  people  and  satisfy  those  who  had  been  raising  the 
fuss  and  finding  fault. 

Father  Morley  told  them  it  was  wrong  to  vote  against  a  good 
man  for  such  reasons.  He  then  talked  to  the  people  on  the 
principles  of  their  religion  for  some  time,  and  advised  them  to 
forsake  their  evil  ways,  for  they  were  going  in  a  way  that  led  to 
hell.  etc. 

This  ended  my  troubles  for  a  short  time,  but  I  soon  found  out 
that  my  enemies  had  only  let  go  their  hold  so  they  could  spit  on 
their  hands  and  get  a  better  one.  They  next  asked  to  be  allowed 
to  organize  a  police  force  for  the  protection  of  the  settlement. 
This  was  to  be  entirely  separate  from  me.  I  granted  their  re- 
quest. It  was  next  decided  to  build  an  estray  pound.  A,  meet- 
ing was  called  and  it  was  agreed  that  each  man  should  build 
fence  in  proportion  to  the  amount  of  stock  that  he  owned,  and 
that  the  public  corral  should  be  used  for  the  estray  pound. 
But  no  stock  should  be  put  into  the  pound  until  all  the  fencing 
was  done,  the  gates  set  up,  etc.  I  at  once  completed  my  fenc- 
ing, but  the  grumblers  had  no  time  to  work ;  they  were  kept 
busy  finding  fault.  (This  whole  thing  was  a  subterfuge  to  bother 
me ;  there  was  no  need  of  a  pound,  as  our  cattle  were  all  herded* 
in  day  time  and  corraled  at  night.  But  I  submitted,  for  I  knew 
I  could  live  by  their  laws  as  well  as  they  could.)  One  evening 
soon  after  that,  as  the  cattle  were  being  driven  up  for  the  night, 
one  of  my  oxen  ran  through  a  brush  fence  and  got  into  a  patch 
of  corn.  The  herdsman  ran  him  out  in  a  moment.  Instead  of 
holding  the  herder  responsible  for  the  damage,  or  coming  to  me 
to  make  a  complaint  and  demanding  pay  for  the  damage,  they 
took  my  ox  out  of  the  corral,  and,  contrary  to  the  vote  of  the 
people,  took  and  tied  him  up  to  Wm.  Pace's  private  corral.  I 
was  the  only  man  there  who  had  made  his  fence,  as  ordered  by 
the  meeting.  I  did  not  know  that  they  had  my  ox  tied  up  (for 
the  work  had  not  been  done  yet  to  justify  putting  any  stock  in 
the  pound).  Next  morning  I  sent  some  of  my  boys  out  to  yoke 
up  my  oxen,  when  they  returned  and  informed  me  that  one  of 
my  oxen  was  missing.  I  soon  found  the  ox,  and  demanded  its 
release.  I  was  told  I  must  pay  $20  before  I  could  have  the  ox, 
that  I  must  pay  it  in  money.  I  saw  this  was  done  to  worry 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  207 

me,  so  I  sent  word  that  I  would  pay  in  any  kind  of  property  that 
I  had.  They  refused  everything  but  money  or  butter.  I  had 
neither  to  spare,  and  they  well  knew  it.  I  was  still  weak  from 
iny  recent  sickness,  but  I  walked  over  and  had  a  talk  with  "Wm. 
Pace  and  tried  to  reason  with  him,  but  all  to  no  purpose.  I 
told  him  he  should  take  pay  for  damage  done  by  stock  in  the 
kind  of  property  that  the  stock  injured,  but  no,  I  must  pay 
money  or  butter,  or  lose  my  ox.  I  reflected  a  moment  and  con- 
cluded that  forbearance  had  ceased  to  be  a  virtue ;  that  unless  I 
defended'  my  rights  I  would  soon  be  without  anything  worth 
protecting.  I  then  walked  into  the  yard  and  untied  the  ox,  and 
told  my  boy  to  drive  him  home.  Pace  stood  by  the  gate  with 
a  large  cane,  but  made  no  resistance ;  in  fact  he  was  not  a 
bad  man,  but  was  being  misled  by  bad  company.  Kennedy, 
Busby,  Dunn,  and  others,  were  a  little  way  off.  They  saw  me, 
and  came  running  to  me.  Charles  Kennedy  was  the  bully  of  the 
camp,  and  the  leader  of  those  against  me.  He  came  up  and  said, 

"If  I  had  beeja  here  you  would  not  have  turned  that  ox  out. 
I  would  have  switched  you  if  you  had  tried  it." 

I  said,  "Kennedy,  I  have  lost  property  enough  through  the 
police  without  your  oppressing  me  any  more." 

I  had  lost  ten  head  of  mules  just  before  that  by  the  dis- 
honesty of  the  police.  I  then  said  I  lost  my  mules  by  the  failure 
of  the  police  to  do  their  duty,  and  I  would  not  be  imposed  on 
in  this  way  any  more.  He  then  shoved  his  fist  under  my  nose. 
I  parried  his  blow,  and  told  him  that  he  would  do  well  to  keep 
at  a  proper  distance  from  me.  He  again  made  a  pass  at  me. 
I  then  threw  down  my  hat  and  said : 

"  If  you  attempt  that  again  you  must  take  what  follows." 

He  came  at  me  the  third  time,  and  as  he  did  so  I  aimed  to 
spoil  his  face,  but  he  dropped  his  head  as  I  struck,  and  the  blow 
took  effect  on  his  eye-brow,  and  badly  sprained  my  thumb.  We 
were  on  a  little  knoll,  full  of  the  stumps  of  small  trees  that  had 
been  cut  down.  Kennedy  caught  hold  of  me  and  commenced 
shoving  me  back.  I  knew  that  my  strength  would  not  last  long. 
I  did  not  wish  to  risk  having  a  tussel  among  the  stumps.  So  I 
backed  out  towards  the  cleared  ground.  I  fastened  my  left 
hand  in  his  long  black  hair  to  steady  myself,  and  as  I  reached  the 
flat  ground,  I  suddenly  sprang  back,  breaking  his  hold,  by  tear- 
ing my  shirt.  I  then  jerked  him  forward  to  an  angle  of  forty- 
iive  degrees,  and  planted  my  fist  square  in  his  face ;  stepping 


back,  and  drawing  him  after  me,  I  kept  gradually  feeding  him 
in  the  face  with  my  fist,  the  blood  spurting  from  him  all  over 
me.  The  crowd  saw  their  bully  getting  the  worst  of  it,  so  they 
ran  in  to  help  him.  Brother  Teeples  caught  me  around  the 
arms,  to  prevent  me  from  striking  any  more.  My  Rachel,  who 
Was  standing  by,  called  to  her  brother,  James  Woolsey,  and  he 
came  and  took  hold  of  Kennedy  and  separated  us. 

I  was  very  sorry  that  this  fight  took  place,  for  I  was  forced 
to  admit  that  I  had  fearfully  punished  the  bully,  his  face  was 
badly  bruised.  This  suited  the  people  ;  I  had  shown  violence, 
and  now  they  could  lay  a  charge  against  me  that  they  thought 
would  stand. 

I  was  at  once  cited  to  appear  before  the  High  Council,  and  be 
dealt  with  according  to  the  rules  of  the  Church,  for  a  breach  of 
the  peace  and  unchristian  conduct.  The  whole  people  were  not 
against  me,  only  a  few ;  but  there  were  enough  of  them  to  keep 
up  a  constant  broil.  They  then  began  consecrating  my  property 
to  their  own  use;  killed  my  cattle,  and  ate. them,  and  stole 
nearly  everything  that  was  loose.  They  stole  wheat  from  my 
graineries,  had  it  ground  and  eat  it,  and  bragged  about  it. 
Kennedy,  by  the  evil  influences  he  commanded,  induced  my 
young  wife,  Emeline,  to  leave  me  and  go  to  his 'house,  and  she 
went  with  his  family  to  Winter  Quarters.  That  was  the  reason 
that  I  turned  her  away  and  refused  to  take  her  back  again.  She 
repented  and  wished  to  come  back,  but  I  would  not  take  her 
again.  Similar  influences  were  brought  to  bear  on  all  of  my 
family,  but  without  much  success.  Such  horrid  treatment  was 
not  calculated  to  bind  me  to  such  a  people,  whose  only  aim  ap- 
peared to  be  to  deprive  me  of  every  comfort  and  enjoyment  that 
marie  life  endurable.  I  was  in  great  trouble  ;  in  place  of  friends 
I  had  found  enemies.  There  was  a  great  struggle  in  my  mind 
to  decide  what  I  should  do.  I  lopked  upon  those  of  my  family 
that  remained  true  and  shared  my  persecutions,  and  knew  that 
if  I  left  the  Church  I  could  not  keep  and  live  with  them ;  that  if 
I  left  I  must  part  with  all  but  my  first  wife  and  her  children — to 
do  so  was  worse  than  death.  I  did  not  know  what  to  do. 

I  finally  appeared  before  the  High  Council  to  meet  my  accus- 
ers, who  had  formed  a  combination  to  destroy  me.  I  had  but 
few  friends  to  defend  me,  and  they  were  in  a  measure  powerless. 
They  dared  not  speak  their  mind  in  my  behalf.  Father  Morley 
was  true  to  me  to  the  last,  though  he  was  becoming  unpopu- 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  209 

lar  on  account  of  having  so  long  supported  me.  Lieut.  Samuel 
Gully  was  another  true  friend  of  mine  ;  he  said  he  would  never 
turn  against  me  until  I  had  done  something  wrong,  even  if  Brig- 
ham  Young  should  desire  him  to  do  so.  This  at  once  lost  him 
his  influence  in  the  Council.  The  most  willful  and  damnable  lies 
were  brought  up  against  me.  Many  things  which  had  been  said 
and  done  in  moments  of  amusement  and  jocularity  were  brought 
up,  as  if  I  had  said  and  done  the  things  for  wicked  purposes. 
Everything  that  could  be  discovered  or  invented  to  injure  me 
was  laid  to  my  charge.  All  who  were  against  me  had  a  full 
chance  to  talk.  Then  Aaron  Johnson,  who  was  there,  but  not  as 
a  member  of  the  Council,  was  called  upon  to  fill  a  vacancy  occa- 
sioned by  the  absence  of  some  member.  He  made  a  speech  to 
the  Council,  and  showed  them  where  I  had  acted  well ;  he  then 
voted  for  my  acquittal.  James  W.  Cummings,  who  had  been  a 
member  of  the  Council  when  I  was  first  tried  in  the  Summer,  and 
who  then  took  my  part,  now  thought  he  would  make  him- 
self popular  with,  the  people,  so  he  volunteered  his  evidence  and 
gave  false  evidence  Against  me.  This  man's  action  was  very 
wrong  and  uncharitable.  I  had  been  more  than  a  brother  to 
him  in  the  past ;  I  had  supplied  his  family  with  food  many  times 
when  they  would  have  suffered  but  for  the  help  I  gave  them. 
This  man  is  still  a  pet  of  Brigham  Young's.  The  result  of  that 
trial  was  that  I  was  ordered  to  confess  that  I  had  been  in  fault, 
and  that  I  was  alone  to  blame,  and  must  ask  the  people  to  for- 
give me.  If  I  refused  I  was  to  be  cut  off  from  the  Church.  To 
a  man  in  my  situation  it  was  equivalent  to  death  to  be  cut  off 
from  the  Church  ;  my  wives  would  be  taken  from  me,  my  prop- 
erty consecrated  to  the  Church,  and  I  turned  adrift,  broken  and 
disgraced,  and  liable  to  suffer  death  at  the  hand  of  any  brother 
of  the  Church  who  wished  to  take  my  life,  either  to  save  my  soul 
or  for  purposes  of  revenge. 

I  replied  that  in  justice  to  myself  I  could  not  make  such  a 
confession,  but  that,  if  nothing  else  would  do,  I  would  say,  as 
the  Council  demands  me  to  say,  I  would  make  the  confession. 
I  was  told  that  this  would  not  do ;  that  no  whipping  of  the  devil 
around  a  stump  would  do  them ;  my  confession  must  be  full  and 
unconditional.  What  the  result  would  have  been  I  cannot  say, 
for  just  then  a  messenger  returned,  saying  President  Young  was 
near  at  hand,  on  his  return  with  the  pioneers  who  had  gone  out 
with  him  to  look  for  a  resting  place  for  the  Saints.  This  stopped 


all  further  proceedings.  The  majority  of  the  people  rushed 
forth  to  meet  Brigham  Young. 

I  returned  home,  conscious  of  my  own  innocence  and  willing 
that  the  people  should  have  the  first  show  to  talk  to  the  Presi- 
dent and  give  him  their  side  of  the  case.  I  did  this  in  part  so  I 
could  tell  how  much  he  could  be  stuffed.  The  people  told  their 
story  and  misrepresented  me  in  every  way ;  they  told  him  how  I 
had  divided  the  land,  and  said  that  I  and  Father  Morley  both 
said  that  he  had  ordered  me  and  my  family  to  take  the  cleared 
land.  This  Brigham  Young  flatly  denied,  and  he  never  told  a 
meaner  lie  in  his  life  than  that  one,  for  he  had  insisted  upon  my 
taking  much  more  of  it  than  I  did.  He  accused  Father  Morley 
and  myself  of  being  liars. 

After  that  there  was  nothing  left  undone  by  many  of  the  peo- 
ple that  would  irritate  or  injure  me  or  my  family.  My  property 
was  stolen,  my  fences  broken  down,  and  everything  that  mean 
men  could  imagine  or  work  up  by  acting  in  combination  in 
studying  deviltry  was  done  to  make  life  a  burden  to  me.  I 
had  raised  over  seven  thousand  bushels  of  corn,  and  every  one 
had  a  good  crop.  I  had  a  large  lot  filled  up  in  the  husk,  and  I 
let  my  cattle  run  to  it  so  as  to  keep  them  fat  during  the  Winter, 
that  I  might  drive  them  over  the  plains  in  the  Spring.  The  rot- 
ten-hearted police  took  advantage  of  my  position,  and  drove 
my  cattle  from  my  own  corn-pile  and  put  them  into  the  estray 
pound,  and  charged  me  fifty  dollars  for  thus  illegally  putting  my 
cattle  in  the  pound.  I  offered  to  put  all  the  corn  I  had  into  their 
Lands  as  security,  until  I  could  have  a  meeting  called  to  exam- 
ine into  the  charge.  I  wanted  my  cows  at  home,  for  we  needed 
the  milk.  I  had  a  large  family,  and  many  little  children  that 
would  suffer  without  milk.  Half  the  men  in  the  settlement 
offered  to  go  my  security  for  the  payment  of  the  fifty  dollars,  if 
a  meeting  decided  that  I  should  pay  it ;  but  all  to  no  purpose. 
The  police  wanted  the  milk  themselves,  and  so  they  kept  my 
cows.  I  sent  Lieutenant  Gully  to  Brigham  Young  with  a  state- 
ment of  the  case,  but  he  paid  no  attention  to  it.  Gulty  was 
well  acquainted  with  Brigham  Young,  and  was  a  fine  man  too. 
He  insisted  on  giving  Brigham  the  story  in  full,  and  demanded 
that  he  should  go  in  person  and  see  to  the  matter.  But  the 
President  was  immovable. 

Things  stood  this  way  until  Emeline,  one  of  Brigham's  wives, 
took  the  matter  to  heart,  and  begged  him  to  go  and  see  about 

LIFE  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  211 

the  affair,  and  ask.ed  him  to  bring  her  to  my  house,  to  visit  her 
sister  Louisa,  then  one  of  my  wives.  He  came,  but  said  little 
of  the  trouble,  and  soon  left  again. 

Two  days  afterwards  I  wrote  Brigham  Young  a  kind  letter, 
and  invited  him  to  come  to  my  house  and  eat  a  turkey  dinner 
with  me.  I  sent  this  by  L.  Stewart.  He  met  Brigham  on  his 
way  to  my  house  and  gave  him  my  letter.  I  did  not  expect  he 
would  come  to  see  me,  but  he  was  there.  He  treated  me  most 
kindly.  When  supper-time  came  he  said  to  one  of  my  wives, 

"Sister,  I  have  come  for  a  bowl  of  good  milk,  but  skirn  the 
cream  off." 

She  replied,  "We  have  no  milk." 

"How  is  that?"  said  he.  "I  thought  Brother  John  always 
liad  milk." 

I  then  told  him  that  the  police  had  my  cows  in  the  pound. 

He  said,  "What  on  earth  are  they  doing  with  your  cows?" 

I  then  told  him  the  whole  story  in  a  few  words.  He  scarcely 
waited  to  hear  me,  but  called  to  his  carriage  driver,  George  D. 
Grant,  and  said, 

"Come,  George,  I  will  go  and  see  about  this  matter." 

He  returned  quite  soon,  saying,  "Your  cows  will  soon  be 
here,  and  I  do  not  think  the  police  will  meddle  with  them  again." 

He  then  asked  me  where  my  turkey  was.  I  told  him  my  friend 
Kennedy  had  robbed  me  of  all  my  turkeys,  but  perhaps  I  could 
borrow  one  from  him.  I  then  sent  Brother  Gully  to  ask  Ken- 
nedy to  loan  me  a  couple  of  fat  turkeys ;  that  I  had  President 
Young  at  my  house  and  wanted  them  for  his  supper.  He  sent 
back  word  that  President  Young  was  welcome  to  all  the  turkeys 
he  wanted,  at  his  house.  I  then  told  President  Young  I  would 
go  out  hunting  and  get  him  a  nice  one  for  dinner  the  next  day. 
I  went  out  that  night  with  Gully  and  hunted  some  time,  but  the 
snow  was  a  foot  deep  or  more,  and  a  crust  had  frozen  on  the  top 
of  it,  so  it  was  difficult  hunting.  At  last  we  found  a  large  drove 
of  turkeys  at  roost  in  the  tall  cottonwood  timber.  I  shot  two  of 
them  by  star  light ;  one  fell  in  the  river,  and  we  lost  it,  but  the 
other  fell  dead  at  the  roots  of  the  tree.  This  was  a  very  large 
and  fat  turkey.  I  considered  it  would  do,  and  we  returned 
home  with  it.  We  had  been  gone  only  a  little  over  an  hour. 
Brigham  Young  staid  at  my  house  while  I  was  gone.  We  sat  by 
the  fire  and  talked  until  near  midnight.  I  unbosomed  myself  to 
him ;  I  told  him  of  all  my  ill  treatment,  and  asked  him  if  I  had 


failed  in  any  respect  to  perform  the  duties  of  my  mission  that  he 
gave  me  before  he  started  with  the  pioneers  across  the  plains. 
I  told  him  of  the  great  crop  we  had  raised ;  that  we  had  it  in 
abundance  to  feed  the  poor  and  for  every  purpose ;  so  much  in 
fact  that  there  was  no  sale  for  it.  He  said, 

"You  have  done  well,  and  you  shall  be  blessed  for  it." 
I  said  I  hoped  my  blessings  would  be  different  from  what  I 
had  been  receiving.     He  replied, 

"  Jesus  has  said,  In  this  world  you  shall  have  tribulation,  but 
in  Me  you  shall  have  peace — that  is,  if  you  bear  these  things  pa- 
tiently, without  murmuring." 

NOTE. — The  time  having  arrived  for  John  D.  Lee  to  start  to 
the  place  of  execution,  he  laid  down  his  pen  and  left  his  manu- 
script just  as  I  have  given  it  to  the  reader.  Fate  decreed  that 
his  Autobiography  should  b_e  left  in  this  unfinished  state,  but 
fortunately  he  had  previously  dictated  a  full  confession  to  me, 
embracing  all  the  principal  events  of  his  life  from  the  time  that 
his  Autobiography  closed  up  to  his  death ;  which,  being  added 
to  his  own  manuscript,  makes  his  life  complete.  The  Confes- 
sion is  given  just  as  he  dictated  it  to  me,  without  alteration  or 
elimination,  except  in  a  few  cases  where  the  ends  of  justice 
might  have  been  defeated  by  premature  revelations. 

Extracts  from  this  Confession  have  heretofore  been  given  to 
the  press,  but  the  entire  Confession  has  not  been  published  any- 
where except  in  this  book. 







AS  A  DUTY  to  myself,  my  family,  and  mankind  at  large,  I 
propose  to  give  a  full  and  true  statement  of  all  that  I 
know  and  all  that  I  did  in  that  unfortunate  affair,  which  has 
cursed  my  existence,  and  made  me  a  wanderer  from  place  to 
place  for  the  last  nineteen  years,  and  which  is  known  to  the 

I  have  no  vindictive  feeling  against  any  one ;  no  enemies  to 
punish  by  this  statement ;  and  no  friends  to  shield  by  keeping 
•back,  or  longer  keeping  secret,  any  of  the  facts  connected  with 
the  Massacre. 

I  believe  that  I  must  tell  all  that  I  do  know,  and  tell  every- 
thing just  as  the  same  transpired.  I  shall  tell  the  truth  and  per- 
mit the  public  to  judge  who  is  most  to  blame  for  the  crime  that  I 
am  accused  of  committing.  I  did  not  act  alone  ;  I  had  many  to 
assist  me  at  the  Mountain  Meadows.  I  believe  that  most  of 
those  who  were  connected  with  the  Massacre,  and  took  part  in 
the  lamentable  transaction  that  has  blackened  the  character  of 
all  who  were  aiders  or  abettors  in  the  same,  were  acting  under 
the  impression  that  they  were  performing  a  religious  duty.  I 
know  all  were  acting  under  the  orders  and  by  the  command  of 
their  Church  leaders ;  and  I  firmly  believe  that  the  most  of  those 
who  took  part  in  the  proceedings,  considered  it  a  religious  duty 
to  unquestioningly  obey  the  orders  which  they  had  received. 
That  they  acted  from  a  sense  of  duty  to  the  Mormon  Church,  I 


never  doubted.  Believing  that  those  with  me  acted  from  a  sense 
of  religious  duty  on  that  occasion,  I  have  faithfully  kept  the 
secret  of  their  guilt,  and  remained  silent  and  true  to  the  oath  of 
secrecy  which  we  took  on  the  bloody  field,  for  many  long  and 
bitter  years.  I  have  never  betrayed  those  who  acted  with  me 
and  participated  in  the  crime  for  which  I  am  convicted,  and  for 
which  I  am  to  suffer  death. 

My  attorneys,  especially  Wells  Spicer  and  Wm.  W.  Bishop, 
have  long  tried,  but  tried  in  vain,  to  induce  me  to  tell  all  I  knew 
of  the  massacre  and  the  causes  which  led  to  it.  I  have  hereto- 
fore refused  to  tell  the  tale.  Until  the  last  few  days  I  had  in- 
tended to  die,  if  die  I  must,  without  giving  one  word  to  the 
public  concerning  those  who  joined  willingly,  or  unwillingly,  in. 
the  work  of  destruction  at  Mountain  Meadows. 

To  hesitate  longer,  or  to  die  in  silence,  would  be  unjust  and 
cowardly.  I  will  not  keep  the  secret  any  longer  as  my  own,  but 
will  tell  all  I  know. 

At  the  earnest  request  of  a  few  remaining  friends,  and  by  the 
advice  of  Mr.  Bishop,  my  counsel,  who  has  defended  me  thus 
far  with  all  his  ability,  notwithstanding  my  want  of  money  with 
which  to  pay  even  his  expenses  while  attending  to  my  case,  I 
have  concluded  to  write  facts  as  I  know  them  to  exist. 

I  cannot  go  before  the  Judge  of  the  quick  and  the  dead  with- 
out first  revealing  all  that  I  know,  as  to  what  was  done,  who 
ordered  me  to  do  what  I  did  do,  and  the  motives  that  led  to  the 
commission  of  that  unnatural  and  bloody  deed. 

The  immediate  orders  for  the  killing  of  the  emigrants  came 
from  those  in  authority  at  Cedar  City.  At  the  time  of  the  mas- 
sacre, I  and  those  with  me,  acted  by  virtue  of  positive  orders 
from  Isaac  C.  Haight  and  his  associates  at  Cedar  City.  Before 
I  started  on  my  mission  to  the  Mountain  Meadows,  I  was  told 
by  Isaac  C.  Haight  that  his  orders  to  me  were  the  result  of  full 
consultatation  with  Colonel  William  H.  Dame  and  all  in  author- 
ity. It  is  a  new  thing  to  me,  if  the  massacre  was  not  decided 
on  by  the  head  men  of  the  Church,  and  it  is  a  new  thing  for  Mor- 
mons to  condemn  those  who  committed  the  deed. 

Being  forced  to  speak  from  memory  alone,  without  the  aid  of 
my  memorandum  books,  and  not  having  time  to  correct  the 
statements  that  I  make,  I  will  necessarily  give  many  things  out 
of  their  regular  order.  The  superiority  that  I  claim  for  my 
statement  is  this : 



I  will  begin  my  statement  by  saying,  I  was  born  on  the  6th 
day  of  September,  A.  D.  1812,  in  the  town  of  Kaskaskia,  Ran- 
dolph Count  y,  State  of  Illinois.  I  am  therefore  in  the  sixty -fifth, 
year  of  my  age. 

I  joined  the  Mormon  Church  at  Far  West,  Mo.,  about  thirty- 
nine  years  ago.  To  be  with  that  Church  and  people  I  left  my 
home  on  Luck  Creek,  Fayette  County,  Illinois,  and  went  and 
joined  the  Mormons  in  Missouri,  before  the  troubles  at  Gallatin, 
Far  West  and  other  points,  between  the  Missourians  and  Mor- 
mons. I  shared  the  fate  of  my  brother  Mormons,  in  being  mis- 
treated, arrested,  robbed  and  driven  from  Missouri  in  a  desti- 
tute condition,  by  a  wild  and  fanatical  mob.  But  of  all  this  I 
shall  speak  in  my  life,  which  I  shall  write  for  publication  if  I 
have  time  to  do  so. 

I  took  an  active  part  with  the  leading  men  at  Nauvoo,  in 
building  up  that  city.  I  induced  many  Saints  to  move  to  Nau- 
voo, for  the  sake  of  their  souls.  I  traveled  and  preached  the 
Mormon  doctrine  in  many  States.  I  was  an  honored  man  in  the 
Church,  and  stood  high  with  the  Priesthood,  until  the  last  few 
years.  I  am  now  cut  off  from  the  Church  for  obeying  the  orders 
of  my  superiors,  and  doing  so  without  asking  questions — for  do- 
ing as  my  religion  and  my  religious  teachers  had  taught  me  to 
do.  I  am  now  used  by  the  Mormon  Church  as  a  scape-goat 
to  carry  the  sins  of  that  people.  My  life  is  to  be  taken,  so  that 
my  death  may  stop  further  enquiry  into  the  acts  of  the  mem- 
bers who  are  still  in  good  standing  in  the  Church.  Will  my 
death  satisfy  the  nation  for  all  the  crimes  committed  by  Mor- 
mons, at  the  command  of  the  Priesthood,  who  have  used  and 
now  have  deserted  me?  Time  will  tell.  I  believe  in  a.  just  God, 
and  I  know  the  day  will  come  when  others  must  answer  for  their 
acts,  as  I  have  had  to  do. 

I  first  became  acquainted  with  Brigham  Young  when  I  went 
to  Far  West,  Mo.,  to  join  the  Church,  in  1837.  I  got  very  inti- 
mately acquainted  with  all  the  great  leaders  of  the  Chuic.i.  I 
was  adopted  by  Brigham  Young  as  one  of  his  sons,  and  for 
many  years  I  confess  I  looked  upon  him  as  an  inspired  and  holy 
man.  While  in  Nauvoo  I  took  an  active  part  in  all  that  was  done 
for  the  Church  or  the  city.  I  had  charge  of  the  building  of  the 
4 k  Seventy  Hall;"  I  was  7th  Policeman.  My  duty  as  a  police 


man  was  to  guard  the  residence  and  person  of  Joseph  Smith,  the 
Prophet.  After  the  death  of  Joseph  and  Hyrum  I  was  ordered 
to  perform  the  same  duty  for  Brigham  Young.  When  Joseph 
Smith  was  a  candidate  for  the  Presidency  of  the  United  States  I 
went  to  Kentucky  as  the  chairman  of  the  Board  of  Elders,  or 
head  of  the  delegation,  to  secure  the  vote  of  that  State  for  him. 
When  I  returned  to  Nauvoo  again  I  was  General  Clerk  and  Re- 
corder for  the  Quorum  of  the  Seventy.  I  was  also  head  or  Chief 
Clerk  for  the  Church,  and  as  such  took  an  active  part  in  organ- 
izing the  Priesthood  into  the  order  of  Seventy  after  the  death  of 
Joseph  Smith. 

After  the  destruction  of  Nauvoo,  when  the  Mormons  were 
driven  from  the  State  of  Illinois,  I  again  shared  the  fate  of  my 
brethren,  and  partook  of  the  hardships  and  trials  that  befel  them 
from  that  day  up  to  the  settlement  of  Salt  Lake  City,  in  the  then 
wilderness  of  the  nation.  I  presented  Brigham  Young  with  seven- 
teen ox  teams,  fully  equipped,  when  he  started  with  the  people 
from  Winter  Quarters  to  cross  the  plains  to  the  new  resting 
place  of  the  Saints.  He  accepted  them  and  said,  "  God  bless 
you,  John."  But  I  never  received  a  cent  for  them — I  never 
wanted  pay  for  them,  for  in  giving  property  to  Brigham  Young  I 
thought  I  was  loaning  it  to  the  Lord. 

After  reaching  Salt  Lake  City  I  stayed  there  but  a  short  time, 
when  I  went  to  live  at  Cottonwood,  where  the  mines  were  after- 
wards discovered  by  General  Connor  and  his  men  during  the 
late  war. 

I  was  just  getting  fixed  to  live  there,  when  I  was  ordered  to 
go  out  into  the  interior  and  aid  in  forming  new  settlements,  and 
opening  up  the  country.  I  then  had  no  wish  or  desire,  save  that 
to  know  and  be  able  to  do  the  will  of  the  Lord's  anointed, 
Brigham  Young,  and  until  within  the  last  few  years  I  have  never 
had  a  wish  for  anything  else  except  to  do  his  pleasure,  since  I 
became  his  adopted  son.  I  believed  it  my  duty  to  obey  those 
in  authority.  I  then  believed  that  Brigham  Young  spoke  by 
direction  of  the  God  of  Heaven.  I  would  have  suffered  death 
rather  than  have  disobeyed  any  command  of  his.  I  had  this 
feeling  until  he  betrayed  and  deserted  me.  At  the  command 
of  Brigham  Young,  I  took  one  hundred  and  twenty-one  men, 
went  in  a  southern  direction  from  Salt  Lake  City,  and  laid  out 
and  built  up  Parowan.  George  A.  Smith  was  the  le  ider  and 
chief  man  in  authority  in  that  settlement.  I  acted  under  him 


as  historian  and  clerk  of  the  Iron  County  Mission,  until  Janu- 
ary, 1851.  I  went  with  Brigham  Young,  and  acted  as  a  com- 
mittee man,  and  located  Provo,  St.  George,  Fillmore,  Parowan 
and  other  towns,  and  managed  the  location  of  many  of  the  set- 
.tlements  in  Southern  Utah. 

In  1852,  I  moved  to  Harmony,  and  built  up  that  settlement. 
I  remained  there  until  the  Indians  declared  war  against  the 
whites  and  drove  the  settlers  into  Cedar  City  and  Parowan,  for 
protection,  in  the  year  1853. 

I  removed  my  then  numerous  family  to  Cedar  City,  where  I 
was  appointed  a  Captain  of  the  militia,  and  commander  of 
Cedar  City  Military  Post. 

I  had  commanded  at  Cedar  City  about  one  year,  when  I  was 
ordered  to  return  to  Harmony,  and  build  the  Harmony  Fort. 
This  order,  like  all  other  orders,  came  from  Brigham  Young. 
When  I  returned  to  Harmony  and  commenced  building  the  fort 
there,  the  orders  were  given  by  Brigham  Young  for  the  reor- 
ganization of  the  military  at  Cedar  City.  The  old  men  were 
requested  to  resign  their  offices,  and  let  younger  men  be  ap- 
pointed in  their  place.  I  resigned  my  office  of  Captain,  but 
Isaac  C.  Haight  and  John  M.  Higbee  refued  to  resign,  and  con- 
tinued to  hold  on  as  Majors  in  the  Iron  Militia. 

After  returning  to  Harmony,  I  was  President  of  the  civil  and 
•local  affairs,  and  Rufus  Allen  was  President  of  that  Stake  of 
Zion,  or  head  of  the  Church  affairs. 

I  soon  resigned  my  position  as  President  of  civil  affairs,  and 
•became  a  private  citizen,  and  was  in  no  office  for  some  time. 
In  fact,  I  never  held  any  position  after  that,  except  the  office  of 
Probate  Judge  of  the  County  (which  office  I  held  before  and 
after  the  massacre),  and  member  of  the  Territorial  Legislature, 
and  Delegate  to  the  Constitutional  Convention  which  met  and 
adopted  a  constitution  for  the  State  of  Deseret,  after  the  mas- 

I  will  here  state  that  Brigham  Young  honored  me  in  many 
ways  after  the  affair  at  Mountain  Meadows  was  fully  reported  to 
him  by  me,  as  I  will  more  fully  state  hereafter  in  the  course  of 
what  I  have  to  relate  concerning  that  unfortunate  transaction. 

Klingensinith,  at  my  first  trial,  and  White,  at  my  last  trial, 
swore  falsely  when  they  say  that  they  met  me  near  Cedar  City, 
the  Sunday  before  the  massacre.  They  did  not  meet  me  as  they 
have  sworn,  nor  did  they  meet  me  at  all  on  that  occasion  or  on 


any  similar  occasion.  I  never  had  the  conversations  with  them 
that  they  testify  about.  They  are  both  perjurers,  and  bore, 
false  testimony  against  me. 

There  has  never  been  a  witness  on  the  stand  against  me  that 
has  testified  to  the  whole  truth.  Some  have  told  part  truth, 
while  others  lied  clear  through,  but  all  of  the  witnesses  who 
were  at  the  massacre  have  tried  to  throw  all  the  blame  on  me, 
and  to  protect  the  other  men  who  took  part  in  it. 

About  the  7th  of  September,  1857.  I  went  to  Cedar  City  from 
my  home  at  Harmony,  by  order  of  President  Haight.  I  did  not 
know  what  he  wanted  of  me,  but  he  had  ordered  me  to  visit  him 
and  I  obeyed.  If  I  remember  correctly,  it  was  on  Sunday  even- 
ing that  I  went  there.  When  I  got  to  Cedar  City,  I  met  Isaac 
C.  Haight  on  the  public  square  of  the  town.  Haight  was  then 
President  of  that  Stake  of  Zion,  and  the  highest  man  in  the  Mor- 
mon priesthood  in  that  country,  and  next  to  Wm.  H.  Dame  in 
all  of  Southern  Utah,  and  as  Lieutenant  Colonel  he  was  second 
to  Dame  in  the  command  of  the  Iron  Military  District.  The 
word  and  command  of  Isaac  C.  Haight  were  the  law  in  Cedar 
City,  at  that  time,  and  to  disobey  his  orders  was  certain  death; 
be  they  right  or  wrong,  no  Saint  was  permitted  to  question  them, 
their  duty  was  obedience  or  death. 

When  I  met  Haight,  I  asked  him  what  he  wanted  with  me. 
He  said  he  wanted  to  have  a  long  talk  with  me  on  private  and 
particular  business.  We  took  some  blankets  and  went  over  to 
the  old  Iron  Works,  and  lay  there  that  night,  so  that  we  could 
talk  in  private  and  in  safety.  After  we  got  to  the  Iron  Works, 
Haight  told  me  all  about  the  train  of  emigrants.  He  said  (and 
I  then  believed  every  word  that  he  spoke,  for  I  believed  it  was 
an  impossible  thing  for  one  so  high  in  the  Priesthood  as  he  was, 
to  be  guilty  of  falsehood)  that  the  emigrants  were  a  rough  and* 
abusive  set  of  men.  That  they  had,  while  traveling  through  Utah, 
been  very  abusive  to  all  the  Mormons  they  met.  That  they  had 
insulted,  outraged,  and  ravished  many  of  the  Mormon  women. 
That  the  abuses  heaped  upon  the  people  by  the  emigrants  during 
their  trip  from  Provo  to  Cedar  City,  had  been  constant  and 
shameful ;  that  they  had  burned  fences  and  destroyed  growing 
crops ;  that  at  many  points  on  the  road  they  had  poisoned  the 
water,  so  that  all  people  and  stock  that  drank  of  the  water  be- 
came sick,  and  many  had  died  from  the  effects  of  poison.  That 
these  vile  Gentiles  publicly  proclaimed  that  they  had  the  very 


pistol  with  which  the  Prophet,  Joseph  Smith,  was  murdered, 
and  had  threatened  to  kill  Brigham  Young  and  all  of  the 
Apostles.  That  when  in  Cedar  City  they  said  they  would  have 
friends  in  Utah  who  would  hang  Brigham  Young  by  the  neck 
until  he  was  dead,  before  snow  fell  again  in  the  Territory. 
They  also  said  that  Johnston  was  coming,  with  his  army,  from, 
the  East,  and  they  were  going  to  return  from  California  with 
soldiers,  as  soon  as  possible,  and  would  then  desolate  the  land, 
and  kill,  every  d — d  Mormon  man,  woman  and  child  that  they 
could  find  in  Utah.  That  they  violated  the  ordinances  of  the 
town  of  Cedar,  and  had,  by  armed  force,  resisted  the  officers 
who  tried  to  arrest  them  for  violating  the  law.  That  after  leav- 
ing Cedar  City  the  emigrants  camped  by  the  company,  or  co- 
operative field,  just  below  Cedar  City,  and  burned  a  large  por- 
tion of  the  fencing,  leaving  the  crops  open  to  the  large  herds  of 
stock  in  the  surrounding  country.  Also  that  they  had  given 
poisoned  meat  to  the  Corn  Creek  tribe  of  Indians,  which  had 
killed  several  of  them,  and  their  Chief,  Konosh,  was  on  the  trail 
of  the  emigrants,  and  would  soon  attack  them.  All  of  these 
things,  and  much  more  of  a  like  kind,  Haight  told  me  as  we  lay 
in  the  dark  at  the  old  Iron  Works.  I  believed  all  that  he  said, 
and,  thinking  that  he  had  full  right  to  do  all  that  he  wanted  to 
do,  I  was  easily  induced  to  follow  his  instructions. 

Haight  said  that  unless  something  was  done  to  prevent  it,  the 
emigrants  would  carry  out  their  threats  and  rob  every  one  of  the 
out-lying  settlements  in  the  South,  and  that  the  whole  Mormon 
people  were  liable  to  be  butchered  by  the  troops  that  the  emi- 
grants would  bring  back  with  them  from  California.  I  was  then 
told  that  the  Council  had  held  a  meeting  that  day,  to  consider 
the  matter,  and  that  it  was  decided  by  the  authorities  to  arm 
the  Indians,  give  them  provisions  and  ammunition,  and  send  them, 
after  the  emigrants,  and  have  the  Indians  give  them  a  brush, 
and  if  they  killed  part  or  all  of  them,  so  much  the  better. 

I  said,  "  Brother  Haight,  who  is  your  authority  for  acting  in 
this  way?  " 

He  replied,  "  It  is  the  will  of  all  in  authority.  The  emigrants 
have  no  pass  from  any  one  to  go  through  the  country,  and  they 
are  liable  to  be  killed  as  common  enemies,  for  the  country  is  at 
war  now.  No  man  has  a  right  to  go  through  this  country  with- 
out a  written  pass." 

We  lay  there  and  talked  much  of  the  night,  and  during  that 


time  Haight  gave  me  very  full  instructions  what  to  do,  and  how 
to  proceed  in  the  whole  affair.  He  said  he  had  consulted  with 
Colonel  Dame,  and  every  one  agreed  to  let  the  Indians  use  up 
the  whole  train  if  they  could.  Haight  then  said : 

"  I  expect  you  to  carry  out  your  orders." 

I  knew  I  had  to  obey  or  die.  I  had  no  wish  to  disobey,  for  I 
then  thought  that  my  superiors  in  the  Church  were  the  mouth- 
pieces of  Heaven,  and  that  it  was  an  act  of  godliness  for  me  to 
obey  any  and  all  orders  given  by  them  to  me,  without  my  asking 
any  questions. 

My  orders  were  to  go  home  to  Harmony,  and  see  Carl  Shirts, 
my  son-in-law,  an  Indian  interpreter,  and  send  him  to  the  Indians 
in  the  South,  to  notify  them  that  the  Mormons  and  Indians  were 
at  war  with  the  "  Mericats"  (as  the  Indians  called  all  whites 
that  were  not  Mormons)  and  bring  all  the  Southern  Indians  up 
and  have  them  join  with  those  from  the  North,  so  that  their 
force  would  be  sufficient  to  make  a  successful  attack  on  the 

It  was  agreed  that  Haight  would  send  Nephi  Johnson,  another 
Indian  interpreter,  to  stir  up  all  the  other  Indians  that  he  could 
find,  in  order  to  have  a  large  enough  force  of  Indians  to  give 
the  emigrants  a  good  hush.  He  said,  "  These  are  the  orders  that 
have  been  agreed  upon  by  the  Council,  and  it  is  in  accordance 
with  the  feelings  of  the  entire  people." 

I  asked  him  if  it  would  not  have  been  better  to  first  send  to 
Brigham  Young  for  instructions,  and  find  out  what  he  thought 
about  the  matter. 

"No,"  said  Haight,  "that  is  unnecessary,  we  are  acting  by  or- 
ders. Some  of  the  Indians  are  now  on  the  war-path,  and  all  of 
them  must  be  sent  out ;  all  must  go,  so  as  to  make  the  thing  a 

It  was  then  intended  that  the  Indians  should  kill  the  emi- 
grants, and  make  it  an  Indian  massacre,  and  not  have  any  whites 
interfere  with  them.  No  whites  were  to  be  known  in  the  mat- 
ter, it  was  to  be  all  done  by  the  Indians,  so  that  it  could  be  laid 
to  them,  if  any  questions  were  ever  asked  about  it.  I  said  to 
Haight : 

"You  know  what  the  Indians  are.  They  will  kill  all  the 
party,  women  and  children,  as  well  as  the  men,  and  you  know 
we  are  sworn  not  to  shed  innocent  blood." 

"  Oh  h — 1!"  said  he,  "  there  will  not  be  one  drop  of  innocent 


blood  shed,  if  every  one  of  the  d — d  pack  are  killed,  for  they 
are  the  worse  lot  of  out-laws  and  ruffians  that  I  ever  saw  in  my 

We  agreed  upon  the  whole  thing,  how  each  one  should  act, 
and  then  left  the  iron  works,  and  went  to  Haight's  house  and 
got  breakfast. 

After  breakfast  I  got  ready  to  start,  and  Haight  said  to  me : 

"  Go,  Brother  Lee,  and  see  that  the  instructions  of  those  in 
authority  are  obeyed,  and  as  you  are  dutiful  in  this,  so  shall 
your  reward  be  in  the  kingdom  of  God,  for  God  will  bless  those 
who  willingly  obey  counsel,  and  make  all  things  fit  for  the  peo- 
ple in  these  last  days." 

I  left  Cedar  City  for  my  home  at  Harmony,  to  carry  out  the 
instructions  that  I  had  received  from  my  superior. 

I  then  believed  that  he  acted  by  the  direct  order  and  com- 
mand of  William  H.  Dame,  and  others  even  higher  in  authority 
than  Colonel  Dame.  One  reason  for  thinking  so  was  from  a  talk 
I  had  only  a  few  days  before,  with  Apostle  George  A.  Smith, 
and  he  had  just  then  seen  Haight,  and  talked  with  him,  and  I 
knew  that  George  A.  Smith  never  talked  of  things  that  Brigham 
Young  had  not  talked  over  with  him  before-hand.  Then  the 
Mormons  were  at  war  with  the  United  States,  and  the  orders  to 
the  Morpaons  had  been  all  the  time  to  kill  and  waste  away  our 
enemies,  but  lose  none  of  our  people.  These  emigrants  were 
from  the  section  of  country  most  hostile  to  our  people,  and  I  be- 
lieved then  as  I  do  now,  that  it  was  the  will  of  every  true  Mor- 
mon in  Utah,  at  that  time,  that  the  enemies  of  the  Church  should 
be  killed  as  fast  as  possible,  and  that  as  this  lot  of  people  had 
men  amongst  them  that  were  supposed  to  have  helped  kill  the 
Prophets  in  the  Carthage  jail,  the  killing  of  all  of  them  would 
be  keeping  our  oaths  and  avenging  the  blood  of  the  Prophets. 

In  justice  to  myself  I  will  give  the  facts  of  my  talk  with 
George  A.  Smith. 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  month  of  August,  1857,  about  ten 
days  before  the  company  of  Captain  Faucher,  who  met  their 
doom  at  Mountain  Meadows,  arrived  at  that  place,  General 
George  A.  Smith  called  on  me  at  one  of  my  homes  at  Washing- 
ton City,  Washington  County,  Utah  Territory,  and  wished  me  to 
take  him  round  by  Fort  Clara,  via  Pinto  Settlements,  to  Hamil- 
ton Fort,  or  Cedar  City.  He  said, 

"I  have  been  sent  down  here  by  the  old  Boss,  Brigham  Young, 


to  instruct  the  brethren  of  the  different  settlements  not  to  sell 
any  of  their  grain  to  our  enemies.  And  to  tell  them  not  to  feed 
it  to  their  animals,  for  it  will  all  be  needed  by  ourselves.  I  am 
also  to  instruct  the  brethren  to  prepare  for  a  big  jight,  for  the 
enemy  is  coming  in  large  force  to  attempt  our  destruction.  But 
Johnston's  army  will  not  be  allowed  to  approach  our  settlements 
from  the  east.  God  is  on  our  side  and  will  fight  our  battles  for 
us,  and  deliver  our  enemies  into  our  hands.  Brigham  Young 
has  received  revelations  from  God,  giving  him  the  right  and  the 
power  to  call  down  the  curse  of  God  on  all  our  enemies  who  at- 
tempt to  invade  our  Territory.  Our  greatest  danger  lies  in  the 
people  of  California — a  class  of  reckless  miners  who  are  stran- 
gers to  God  and  his  righteousness.  They  are  likely  to  come 
upon  us  from  the  south  and  destroy  the  small  settlements.  But 
we  will  try  and  outwit  them  before  we  suffer  much  damage.  The 
people  of  the  United  States  who  oppose  our  Church  and  people 
are  a  mob,  from  the  President  down,  and  as  such  it  is  impossible 
for  their  armies  to  prevail  against  the  Saints  who  have  gathered 
here  in  the  mountains." 

He  continued  this  kind  of  talk  for  some  hours  to  me  and  my 
friends  who  were  with  me. 

General  George  A.  Smith  held  high  rank  as  a  military  leader. 
He  was  one  of  the  twelve  apostles  of  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ 
.of  Latter  Day  Saints,  and  as  such  he  was  considered  by  me  to 
be  an  inspired  man.  His  orders  were  to  me  sacred  commands, 
which  I  considered  it  my  duty  to  obey,  without  question  or  hesi- 

I  took  my  horses  and  carriage  and  drove  with  him  to  either 
Hamilton  Fort  or  Cedar  City,  visiting  the  settlements  with  him, 
as  he  had  requested.  I  did  not  go  to  hear  him  preach  at  an}'-  of 
our  stopping  places,  nor  did  I  pay  attention  to  what  he  said  to 
the  leaders  in  the  settlements. 

The  day  we  left  Fort  Clara,  which  was  then  the  headquarters 
of  the  Indian  missionaries  under  the  presidency  of  Jacob  Hamb- 
lin,  we  stopped  to  noon  at  the  Clara  River.  While  there  the  In- 
dians gathered  around  us  in  large  numbers,  and  were  quite  saucy 
and  impudent.  Their  chiefs  asked  me  where  I  was  going  and 
who  I  had  with  me.  I  told  them  that  he  was  a  big  captain. 

"Is  he  a  Mericat  Captain?" 

"No,"  I  said,  "he  is  a  Mormon." 


The  Indians  then  wanted  to  know  more.  They  wanted  to 
have  a  talk. 

The  General  told  me  to  tell  the  Indians  that  the  Mormons 
were  their  friends,  and  that  the  Americans  were  their  enemies, 
and  the  enemies  of  the  Mormons,  too ;  that  he  wanted  the  In- 
dians to  remain  the  fast  friends  of  the  Mormons,  for  the  Mor- 
mons were  all  friends  to  the  Indians ;  that  the  Americans  had  a 
large  army  just  east  of  the  mountains,  and  intended  to  come 
over  the  mountains  into  Utah  and  kill  all  of  the  Mormons  and 
Indians  in  Utah  Territory ;  that  the  Indians  must  get  ready  and 
keep  ready  for  war  against  all  of  the  Americans,  and  keep 
friendly  with  the  Mormons  and  obey  what  the  Mormons  told 
them  to  do — that  this  was  the  will  of  the  Great  Spirit ;  that  if 
the  Indians  were  true  to  the  Mormons  and  would  help  them 
against  their  enemies,  then  the  Mormons  would  always  keep 
them  from  want  and  sickness  and  give  them  guns  and  ammuni- 
tion to  hunt  and  kill  game  with,  and  would  also  help  the  Indians 
against  their  enemies  when  they  went  into  war. 

This  talk  pleased  the  Indians,  and  they  agreed  to  all  that  I 
asked  them  to  do. 

I  saw  that  my  friend  Smith  was  a  little  nervous  and  fearful  of 
the  Indians,  notwithstanding  their  promises  of  friendship.  To 
relieve  him  of  his  anxiety  I  hitched  up  and  started  on  our  way, 
as  soon  as  I  could  do  so  without  rousing  the  suspicions  of  the 

We  had  ridden  along  about  a  mile  or  so  when  General  Smith 

"Those  are  savage  looking  fellows.  I  think  they  would  make 
it  lively  for  an  emigrant  train  if  one  should  come  this  way." 

I  said  I  thought  they  would  attack  any  train  that  would  come 
in  their  way.  Then  the  General  was  in  a  deep  study  for  some 
time,  when  he  said, 

"  Suppose  an  emigrant  train  should  come  along  through  this 
southern  country,  making  threats  against  our  people  and  brag- 
ging of  the  part  they  took  in  helping  kill  our  Prophets,  what  do 
you  think  the  brethren  would  do  with  them  ?  Would  they  be 
permitted  to  go  their  way,  or  would  the  brethren  pitch  into  them 
and  give  them  a  good  drubbing?" 

I  reflected  a  few  moments,  and  then  said, 

"You  know  the  brethren  are  now  under  the  influence  of  the 
late  reformation,  and  are  still  red-hot  for  the  gospel.  The 


brethren  believe  the  government  wishes  to  destroy  them.  X 
really  believe  that  any  train  of  emigrants  that  may  come  through 
here  will  be  attacked,  and  probably  all  destroyed.  I  am  sure 
they  would  be  wiped  out  if  they  had  been  making  threats  against 
our  people.  Unless  emigrants  have  a  pass  from  Brigham  Young, 
or  some  one  in  authority,  they  will  certainly  never  get  safely 
through  this  country." 

My  reply  pleased  him  very  much,  and  he  laughed  heartily, 
and  then  said, 

"  Do  you  really  believe  the  brethren  would  make  it  lively  for 
such  a  train?" 

I  said,  "  Yes,  sir,  I  know  they  will, .unless  they  are  protected 
by  a  pass,  and  I  wish  to  inform  you  that  unless  you  want  every, 
train  captured  that  comes  through  here,  you  must  inform  Gover- 
nor Young  that  if  he  wants  emigrants  to  pass,  without  being 
molested,  he  must  send  orders  to  that  effect  to  Colonel  Wm.  H. 
Dame  or  Major  Isaac  C.  Haight,  so  that  they  can  give  passes  to- 
the  emigrants,  for  their  passes  will  insure  safety,  but  nothing  else- 
will,  except  the  positive  orders  of  Governor  Young,  as  the  peo- 
ple are  all  bitter  against  the  Gentiles,  and  full  of  religious  zeal, 
and  anxious  to  avenge  the  blood  of  the  Prophets." 

The  only  reply  he  made  was  to  the  effect  that  on  his  way  down 
from  Salt  Lake  City  he  had  had  a  long  talk  with  Major  Haight 
on  the  same  subject,  and  that  Haight  had  assured  him,  and 
given  him  to  understand,  that  emigrants  who  came  along  with- 
out a  pass  from  Governor  Young  could  not  escape  from  the  Ter- 

We  then  rode  along  in  silence  for  some  distance,  when  he 
again  turned  to  me  and  said, 

"  Brother  Lee,  I  am  satisfied  that  the  brethren  are  under  the 
full  influence  of  the  reformation,  and  I  believe  they  will  do  just 
as  you  say  they  will  with  the  wicked  emigrants  that  come  through 
the  country  making  threats  and  abusing  our  people." 

I  repeated  my  views  to  him,  but  at  much  greater  length, 
giving  my  reasons  in  full  for  thinking  that  Governor  .Young 
should  give  orders  to  protect  all  the  emigrants  that  he  did  not 
wish  destroyed.  I  went  into  a  full  statement  of  the  wrongs  of 
our  people,  and  told  him  that  the  people  were  under  the  blaze 
of  the  reformation,  full  of  wild  fire  and  fanaticism,  and  that  to 
shed  the  blood  of  those  who  would  dare  to  speak  against  the 
Mormon  Church  or  its  leaders,  they  would  consider  doing  the 



will  of  God,  and  that  the  people  would  do  it  as  willingly  and 
cheerfully  as  they  would  any  other  duty.  That  the  apostle 
Paul,  when  he  started  forth  to  persecute  the  followers  of  Christ, 
was  not  any  more  sincere  than  every  Mormon  was  then,  who 
lived  in  Southern  Utah. 

My  words  served  to  cheer  up  the  General  very  much ;  he  was 
greatly  delighted,  and  said, 

"  I  am  glad  to  hear  so  good  an  account  of  our  people.  God 
will  bless  them  for  all  that  they  do  to  build  up  His  Kingdom 
in  the  last  days." 

General  Smith  did  not  say  one  word  to  me  or  intimate  to  me, 
that  he  wished  any  emigrants  to  pass  in  safety  through  the  Ter- 
ritory. But  he  led  me  to  believe  then,  as  I  believe  now,  that 
he  did  want,  and  expected  every  emigrant  to  be  killed  that 
undertook  to  pass  through  the  Territory  while  we  were  at  war 
with  the  Government.  I  thought  it  was  his  mission  to  prepare 
the  people  for  the  bloody  work. 

I  have  always  believed,  since  that  day,  that  General  George 
A.  Smith  was  then  visiting  Southern  Utah  to  prepare  the  peo- 
ple for  the  work  of  exterminating  Captain  Fancher's  train  of 
emigrants,  and  I  now  believe  that  he  was  sent  for  that  purpose 
by  the  direct  command  of  Brigham  Young. 

I  have  been  told  by  Joseph  Wood,  Thomas  T.  Willis,  and 
many  others,  that  they  heard  George  A.  Smith  preach  at  Cedar 
City  during  that  trip,  and  that  he  told  the  people  of  Cedar 
City  that  the  emigrants  were  coming,  and  he  told  them  that  they 
must  not  sell  that  company  any  grain  or  provisions  of  any  kind, 
for  they  were  a  mob  of  villains  and  outlaws,  and  the  enemies  of 
God  and  the  Mormon  people. 

Sidney  Littlefield,  of  Panguitch,  has  told  me  that  he  was 
knowing  to  the  fact  of  Colonel  Wm.  H.  Dame  sending  orders 
from  Parowan  to  Maj.  Haight,  at  Cedar  City,  to  exterminate  the 
Francher  outfit,  and  to  kill  every  emigrant  without  fail.  Little- 
field  then  lived  at  Parowan,  and  Dame  was  the  Presiding  Bishop. 
Dame  still  has  all  the  wives  he  wants,  and  is  a  great  friend  of 
Brigham  Young. 

The  knowledge  of  how  George  A.  Smith  felt  toward  the  emi- 
grants, and  his  telling  me  that  he  had  a  long  talk  with  Haight 
on  the  subject,  made  me  certain  that  it  was  the  wish  of  the 
Church  authorities  that  Francher  and  his  train  should  be  wiped 
out,  and  knowing  all  this,  I  did  not  doubt  then,  and  I  do  not 


doubt  it  now,  either,  that  Haight  was  acting  by  full  authority 
from  the  Church  leaders,  and  that  the  orders  he  gave  to  me  were 
just  the  orders  that  he  had  been  directed  to  give,  when  he 
ordered  me  to  raise  the  Indians  and  have  them  attack  the  emi- 

I  acted  through  the  whole  matter  in  a  way  that  I  considered 
it  my  religious  duty  to  act,  and  if  what  I  did  was  a  crime,  it 
was  a  crime  of  the  Mormon  Church,  and  not  a  crime  for  which  I 
feel  individually  responsible. 

I  must  here  state  that  Klingensmith  was  not  in  Cedar  City 
that  Sunday  night.  Haight  said  he  had  sent  Klingensmith 
and  others  over  towards  Pinto,  and  around  there,  to  stir  up  the 
Indians  and  force  them  to  attack  the  emigrants. 

On  my  way  from  Cedar  City  to  my  home  at  Harmony,  I  came 
up  with  a  large  band  of  Indians  under  Moquetas  and  Big  Bill, 
two  Cedar  City  Chiefs ;  they  were  in  their  war  paint,  and  fully 
equipped  for  battle.  They  halted  when  I  came  up  and  said  they 
had  had  a  big  talk  with  Haight,  Higby  and  Klingensmith,  and 
had  got  orders  from  them  to  follow  up  the  emigrants  and  kill 
them  all,  and  take  their  property  as  the  spoil  of  their  enemies. 

These  Indians  wanted  me  to  go  with  them  and  command  their 
forces.  I  told  them  that  I  could  not  go  with  them  that  evening, 
that  I  had  orders  from  Haight,  the  big  Captain,  to  send  other 
Indians  on  the  war-path  to  help  them  kill  the  emigrants,  and 
that  I  must  attend  to  that  first ;  that  I  wanted  them  to  go  on 
near  where  the  emigrants  were  and  camp  until  the  other  Indians 
joined  them ;  that  I  would  meet  them  the  next  day  and  lead 

This  satisfied  them,  but  they  wanted  me  to  send  my  little  In- 
dian boy,  Clem,  with  them.  After  some  time  I  consented  to  let 
Clem  go  with  them,  and  I  returned  home. 

When  I  got  home  I  told  Carl  Shirts  what  the  orders  were  that 
Haight  had  sent  to  him.  Carl  was  naturally  cowardly  and  was 
mot  willing  to  go,  but  I  told  him  the  orders  must  be  obeyed.  He 
then  started  off  that  night,  or  early  next  morning,  to  stir  up  the 
Indians  of  the  South,  and  lead  them  against  the  emigrants.  The 
emigrants  were  then  camped  at  Mountain  Meadows. 

The  Indians  did  not  obey  my  instructions.  They  met,  several 
hundred  strong,  at  the  Meadows,  and  attacked  the  emigrants 
Tuesday  morning,  just  before  daylight,  and  at  the  first  fire,  as 
I  afterwa:\l3  learned,  they  killed  seven  and  wounded  sixteen  of 

8  CONFESSION.  227 

the  emigrants.  The  latter  fought  bravely,  and  repulsed  the 
Indians,  killing  some  of  them  and  breaking  the  knees  of  two  war 
chiefs,  who  afterwards  died. 

The  news  of  the  battle  was  carried  all  over  the  country  by 
Indian  runners,  and  the  excitement  was  great  in  all  the  small 
settlements.  I  was  notified  of  what  had  taken  place,  early  Tues- 
day morning,  by  an  Indian  who  came  to  my  house  and  gave  me 
a  full  account  of  all  that  had  been  done.  The  Indian  said  it 
was  the  wish  of  all  the  Indians  that  I  should  lead  them,  and  that 
I  must  go  back  with  him  to  the  camp. 

I  started  at  once,  and  by  taking  the  Indian  trail  over  the 
mountain,  1  reached  the  camp  in  about  twelve  miles  from  Har- 
mony. To  go  round  by  the  wagon  road  it  would  have  been  be- 
tween forty  and  fifty  miles. 

When  I  reached  the  camp  I  found  the  Indians  in  a  frenzy  of 
excitement.  They  threatened  to  kill  me  unless  I  agreed  to  lead 
them  against  the  emigrants,  and  help  them  kill  them.  They 
also  said  they  had  been  told  that  they  could  kill  the  emigrants 
without  danger  to  themselves,  but  they  had  lost  some  of  their 
braves,  and  others  were  wounded,  and  unless  they  could  kill  all 
the  "Mericats,"  as  they  called  them,  they  would  declare  war 
against  the  Mormons  and  kill  every  one  in  the  settlements. 

I  did  as  well  as  I  could  under  the  circumstances.  I  was  the 
only  white  man  there,  with  a  wild  and  excited  band  of  several 
hundred  Indians.  I  tried  to  persuade  them  that  all  would  be 
well,  that  I  was  their  friend  and  would  see  that  they  had  their 
revenge,  if  I  found  out  that  they  were  entitled  to  revenge. 

My  talk  only  served  to  increase  their  excitement,  and  being 
afraid  that  they  would  kill  me  if  I  undertook  to  leave  them,  and 
I  would  not  lead  them  against  the  emigrants,  so  I  told  them  that 
I  would  go  south  and  meet  their  friends,  and  hurry  them  up  to 
help  them.  I  intended  to  put  a  stop  to  the  carnage  if  I  had  the 
power,  for  I  believed  that  the  emigrants  had  been  sufficiently 
punished  for  what  they  had  done,  and  I  felt  then,  and  always 
have  felt  that  such  wholesale  murdering  was  wrong. 

At  first  the  Indians  would  not  consent  for  me  to  leave  them, 
but  they  finally  said  I  might  go  and  meet  their  friends. 

I  then  got  on  my  horse  and  left  the  Meadows,  and  went  south. 

I  had  gone  about  sixteen  miles,  when  I  met  Carl  Shirts  with 
about  one  hundred  Indians,  and  a  number  of  Mormons  from  the 
southern  settlements.  They  were  going  to  the  scene  of  the  con- 


flict.  How  they  learned  of  the  emigrants  being  at  the  Meadows 
I  never  knew,  but  they  did  know  it,  and  were  there  fully  armed, 
and  determined  to  obey  orders. 

Amongst  those  that  I  remember  to  have  met  there,  were  Sam- 
uel Knight,  Oscar  Hamblin,  William  Young,  Carl  Shirts,  Harri- 
son Pearce,  James  Pearce,  John  W.  Clark,  William  Slade,  Sr., 
James  Matthews,  Dudley  Leavitt,  William  Hawley,  (now  a  res- 
ident of  Fillmore,  Utah  Territory,)  William  Slade,  Jr.,  and  two 
others  whose  names  I  have  forgotten.  I  think  they  were  George 
W.  Adair  and  John  Hawley.  I  know  they  were  at  the  Meadows 
at  the  time  of  the  massacre,  and  I  think  I  met  them  that  night 
south  of  the  Meadows,  with  Samuel  Knight  and  the  others. 

The  whites  camped  there  that  night  with  me,  but  most  of  the 
Indians  rushed  on  to  their  friends  at  the  camp  on  the  Meadows. 

I  reported  to  the  whites  all  that  had  taken  place  at  the  Mead- 
ows, but  none  of  them  were  surprised  in  the  least.  They  all 
seemed  to  know  that  the  attack  was  to  be  made,  and  all  about 
it.  I  spent  one  of  the  most  miserable  nights  there  that  I  ever 
passed  in  my  life.  I  spent  much  of  the  night  in  tears  and  at 
prayer.  I  wrestled  with  God  for  wisdom  to  guide  me.  I  asked 
for  some  sign,  some  evidence  that  would  satisfy  me  that  my  mis- 
sion was  of  Heaven,  but  I  got  no  satisfaction  from  my  God. 

In  the  morning  we  all  agreed  to  go  on  together  to  Mountain 
Meadows,  and  camp  there,  and  then  send  a  messenger  to  Haight, 
giving  him  full  instructions  of  what  had  been  done,  and  to  ask 
him  for  further  instructions.  We  knew  that  the  original  plan 
was  for  the  Indians  to  do  all  the  work,  and  the  whites  to  do 
nothing,  only  to  stay  back  and  plan  for  them,  and  encourage 
them  to  do  the  work.  Now  we  knew  the  Indians  could  not  do 
the  work,  and  we  were  in  a  sad  fix. 

I  did  not  then  know  that  a  messenger  had  been  sent  to  Brigham 
Young  for  instructions.  Haight  had  not  mentioned  it  to  me. 
I  now  think  that  James  Haslem  was  sent  to  Brigham  Young,  as 
a  sharp  play  on  the  part  of  the  authorities  to  protect  themselves, 
if  trouble  ever  grew  out  of  the  matter. 

We  went  to  the  Meadows  and  camped  at  the  springs,  about 
half  a  mile  from  the  emigrant  camp.  There  was  a  larger  num- 
ber of  Indians  there  then,  fully  three  hundred,  and  I  think  as 
many  as  four  hundred  of  them.  The  two  Chiefs  who  were  shot 
in  the  knee  were  in  a  bad  fix.  The  Indians  had  killed  a  num- 
ber of  the  emigrants'  horses,  and  about  sixty  or  seventy  head 


of  cattle  were  lying  dead  on  the  Meadows,  which  the  Indians 
had  killed  for  spite  and  revenge. 

Our  company  killed  a  small  beef  for  dinner,  and  after  eating 
-a  hearty  meal  of  it  we  held  a  council  and  decided  to  send  a 
messenger  to  Haight.  I  said  to  the  messenger,  who  was  either 
Edwards  or  Adair,  (I  cannot  now  remember  which  it  was), 
"Tell  Haight,  for  my  sake,  for  the  people's  sake,  for  God's  sake, 
send  me  help  to  protect  and  save  these  emigrants,  and  pacify 
the  Indians." 

The  messenger  started  for  Cedar  City,  from  our  camp  on  the 
Meadows,  about  2  o'clock  P.  M. 

We  all  staid  on  the  field,  and  I  tried  to  quiet  and  pacify  the 
Indians,  by  telling  them  that  I  had  sent  to  Haight,  the  Big  Cap- 
tain, for  orders,  and  when  he  sent  his  order  I  would  know  what 
•to  do.  This  appeared  to  satisfy  the  Indians,  for  said  they, 

"The  Big  Captain  will  send  you  word  to  kill  all  the  Mericats." 

Along  toward  evening  the  Indians  again  attacked  the  emi- 
grants. This  was  Wednesday.  I  heard  the  report  of  their 
guns,  and  the  screams  of  the  women  and  children  in  the  corral. 

This  was  more  than  I  could  stand.  So  I  ran  with  Wil- 
liam Young  and  John  Mangum,  to  where  the  Indians  were,  to 
stop  the  fight.  While  on  the  way  to  them  they  fired  a  volley, 
and  three  balls  from  their  guns  cut  my  clothing.  One  ball  went 
through  my  hat  and  cut  my  hair  on  the  side  of  my  head.  One 
ball  went  through  my  shirt  and  leaded  my  shoulder,  the  other 
«ut  my  pants  across  my  bowels.  I  thought  this  was  rather 
warm  work,  but  I  kept  on  until  I  reached  the  place  where  the 
Indians  were  in  force.  When  I  got  to  them,  I  told  them  the 
Great  Spirit  would  be  mad  at  them  if  they  killed  the  women 
and  children.  I  talked  to  them  some  time,  and  cried  with  sor- 
row when  I  saw  that  I  could  not  pacify  the  savages. 

When  the  Indians  saw  me  in  tears,  they  called  me  "Yaw 
Guts,"  which  in  the  Indian  language  means  "  cry  baby,"  and 
to  this  day  they  call  me  by  that  name,  and  consider  me  a 

Oscar  Hamblin  was  a  fine  interpreter,  and  he  came  to  my  aid 
And  helped  me  to  induce  the  Indians  to  stop  the  attack.  By 
his  help  we  got  the  Indians  to  agree  to  be  quiet  until  word  was 
returned  from  Haight.  (I  do  not  know  now  but  what  the  mes- 
senger started  for  Cedar  City,  after  this  night  attack,  but  I  was 
so  worried  and  perplexed  at  that  time,  and  so  much  has  hap- 


pened  to  distract  my  thoughts  since  then,  that  my  mind  is  not 
clear  on  that  subject.) 

On  Thursday,  about  noon,  several  men  came  to  us  from  Cedar 
City.  I  cannot  remember  the  order  in  which  all  of  the  people 
came  to  the  Meadows,  but  I  do  recollect  that  at  this  time  and  in 
this  company  Joel  White,  William  C.  Stewart,  Benjamin  Arthur, 

Alexander  Wilden,  Charles  Hopkins  and  Tate,  came  to  us- 

at  the  camp  at  the  springs.  These  men  said  but  little,  but  every 
man  seemed  to  know  just  what  he  was  there  for.  As  our  mes- 
senger had  gone  for  further  orders,  we  moved  our  camp  about 
four  hundred  yards  further  up  the  valley  on  to  a  hill,  where  we 
made  carnp  as  long  as  we  staid  there. 

I  soon  learned  that  the  whites  were  as  wicked  at  heart  as  the 
Indians,  for  every  little  while  during  that  day  I  saw  white  men 
taking  aim  and  shooting  at  the  emigrants'  wagons.  They  said 
they  were  doing  it  to  keep  in  practice  and  to  help  pass  off  the 

I  remember  one  man  that  was  shooting,  that  rather  amused 
me,  for  he  was  shooting  at  a  mark  over  a  quarter  of  a  mile  off, 
and  his  gun  would  not  carry  a  ball  two  hundred  yards.  That 
man  was  Alexander  Wilden.  He  took  pains  to  fix  up  a  seat 
under  the  shade  of  a  tree,  where  he  continued  to  load  and  shoot 
until  he  got  tired.  Many  of  the  others  acted  just  as  wild  and 
foolish  as  Wilden  did. 

The  wao-ons  were  corraled  after  the  Indians  had  made  the  first 


attack.  On  the  second  clay  after  our  arrival  the  emigrants  drew 
their  wagons  near  each  other  and  chained  the  wheels  one  to  the 
other.  While  they  were  doing  this  there  was  no  shooting  going 
on.  Their  camp  was  about  one  hundred  yards  above  and  north 
of  the  spring.  They  generally  got  their  water  from  the  spring 
at  night. 

Thursday  morning  I  saw  two  men  start  from  the  corral  with 
buckets,  and  run  to  the  spring  and  fill  their  buckets  with  water, 
and  go  back  again.  The  bullets  flew  around  them  thick  and 
fast,  but  they  got  into  their  corral  in  safety. 

The  Indians  had  agreed  to  keep  quiet  until  orders  returned 
from  Haight,  but  they  did  not  keep  their  word.  They  made  a 
determined  attack  on  the  train  on  Thursday  morning  about  day- 
lio-ht.  At  this  attack  the  Clara  Indians  had  one  brave  killed  and 


three  wounded.     This  so  enraged  that   band  that  they  left  for 


home  that  day  and  drove  off  quite  a  number  of  cattle  with  them. 
During  the  day  I  said  to  John  Mangum, 

"  I  will  cross  over  the  valley  and  go  up  on  the  other  side,  on 
the  hills  to  the  west  of  the  corral,  and  take  a  look  at  the  situa- 

I  did  go.  As  I  was  crossing  the  valley  I  was  seen  by  the 
emigrants,  and  as  soon  as  they  saw  that  I  was  a  white  man  they 
ran  up  a  white  flag  in  the  middle  of  their  corral,  or  camp.  They 
then  sent  two  little  boys  from  the  camp  to  talk  to  me,  but  I 
could  not  talk  to  them  at  that  time,  for  I  did  not  know  what  or- 
ders Haight  would  "Send  back  to  me,  and  until  I  did  know  his 
orders  I  did  not  know  how  to  act.  I  hid,  to  keep  away  from  the 
children.  They  came  to  the  place  where  they  had  last  seen  me 
and  hunted  all  around  for  me,  but  being  unable  to  find  me,  they 
turned  and  went  back  to  the  camp  in  safety. 

While  the  boys  were  looking  for  me  several  Indians  came  to 
me  and  asked  for  ammunition  with  which  to  kill  them.  I  told 
them  they  must  not  hurt  the  children — that  if  they  did  I  would 
kill  the  first  one  that  made  the  attempt  to  injure  them.  By  this 
act  I  was  able  to  save  the  boys. 

It  is  all  false  that  has  been  told  about  little  girls  being  dressed 
in  white  and  sent  out  to  me.  There  never  was  anything  of  the 
kind  done. 

I  staid  on  the  west  side  of  the  valley  for  about  two  hours, 
looking  down  into  the  emigrant  camp,  and  feeling  all  the  torture 
of  mind  that  it  is  possible  for  a  man  to  suffer  who  feels  merciful, 
and  yet  knows,  as  I  then  knew,  what  was  in  store  for  that  un- 
fortunate company  if  the  Indians  were  successful  in  their  bloody 

While  I  was  standing  on  the  hill  looking  down  into  the  corral, 
I  saw  two  men  leave  the  corral  and  go  outside  to  cut  some 
wood  ;  the  Indians  and  whites  kept  up  a  steady  fire  on  them  all 
the  time,  but  they  paid  no  attention  to  danger,  and  kept  right 
along  at  their  work  until  they  had  it  done,  and  then  they  went 
back  into  camp.  The  men  all  acted  so  bravely  that  it  was 
impossible  to  keep  from  respecting  them 

After  staying  there  and  looking  down  into  the  camp  until  I 
was  nearly  dead  from  grief,  I  returned  to  the  company  at  camp. 
I  was  worn  out  with  trouble  and  grief;  I  was  nearly  wild  wait- 
ing for  word  from  the  authorities  at  Cedar  City.  I  prayed  for 


word  to  come  that  would  enable  me  to  save  that  band  of  suffer- 
ing people,  but  no  such  word  came.  It  never  was  to  come. 

On  Thursday  evening  John  M.  Higbee,  Major  of  the  Iron 
Militia,  and  Philip  K.  Smith,  as  he  is  called  generally,  but  whose 
name  is  Klingensmith,  Bishop  of  Cedar  City,  came  to  our  camp 
with  two  or  three  wagons,  and  a  number  of  men  all  well  armed. 
I  can  remember  the  following  as  a  portion  of  the  men  who  came 
to  take  part  in  the  work  of  death  which  was  so  soon  to  follow, 
viz. :  JohnM.  Higbee,  Major  and  commander  of  the  Iron  Militia, 
and  also  first  counselor  to  Isaac  C.  Haight;  Philip  Klingen- 
smith, Bishop  of  Cedar  City ;  Ira  Allen,  of  the  High  Council ; 
Robert  Wiley,  of  the  High  Council ;  Richard  Harrison,  of  Pinto, 
also  a  member  of  the  High  Council;  Samuel  McMurdy,  one  of 
the  Counselors  of  Klingensmith ;  Charles  Hopkins,  of  the  City 
Council  of  Cedar  City ;  Samuel  Pollock ;  Daniel  McFarland,  a 
son-in-law  of  Isaac  C.  Haight,  and  acting  as  Adjutant  under 
Major  Higbee  ;  John  Ure,  of  the  City  Council ;  George  Hunter, 
of  the  City  Council ;  and  I  honestly  believe  that  John  McFar- 
land, now  an  attorney-at-law  at  St.  George,  Utah,  was  there — 
I  am  not  positive  that  he  was,  but  my  best  impression  is  that  he 
was  there:  Samuel  Jukes;  Nephi  Johnson,  with  a  number  of 
Indians  under  his  command ;  Irvin  Jacobs ;  John  Jacobs ;  E. 
Curtis,  a  Captain  of  Ten ;  Thomas  Cartwright  of  the  Ciiy  Coun- 
cil and  High  Council ;  William  Baternan,  who  afterwards  car- 
ried the  flag  of  truce  to  the  emigrant  camp ;  Anthony  Stratton ; 
A.  Loveridge ;  Joseph  Clews ;  Jabez  Durfey ;  Columbus  Free- 
man, and  some  others  whose  names  I  cannot  remember.  I 
know  that  our  total  force  was  fifty-four  whites  and  over  three 
hundred  Indians. 

As  soon  as  these  persons  gathered  around  the  camp,  I  demand- 
ed of  Major  Higbee  what  orders  he  had  brought.  I  then  stated 
fully  all  that  had  happened  at  the  Meadows,  so  that  every  per- 
son might  understand  the  situation. 

Major  Higbee  reported  as  follows:  "It  is  the  orders  of  the 
President,  that  all  the  emigrants  must  be  put  out  of  the  way. 
President  Haight  has  counseled  with  Colonel  Dame,  or  has  had 
orders  from  him  to  put  all  of  the  emigrants  out  of  the  way ; 
none  who  are  old  enough  to  talk  are  to  be  spared." 

He  then  went  on  and  said  substantially  that  the  emigrants  had 
come  through  the  country  as  our  enemies,  and  as  the  enemies  of 
the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter  Day  Saints.  That  they 


had  no  pass  from  any  one  in  authority  to  permit  them  to  leave 
the  Territory.  That  none  but  friends  were  permitted  to  leave 
the  Territory,  and  that  as  these  were  our  sworn  enemies,  they 
must  be  killed.  That  they  were  nothing  but  a  portion  of  John- 
ston's army.  That  if  they  were  allowed  to  go  on  to  California, 
they  would  raise  the  war  cloud  in  the  West,  and  bring  certain  de- 
struction upon  all  the  settlements  in  Utah.  That  the  only  safe- 
ty for  the  people  was  in  the  utter  destruction  of  the  whole  ras- 
cally lot. 

I  then  told  them  that  God  would  have  to  change  my  heart  be- 
fore I  could  consent  to  such  a  wicked  thing  as  the  wholesale 
killing  of  that  people.  I  attempted  to  reason  with  Higbee  and 
the  brethren.  I  told  them  how  strongly  the  emigrants  were  for- 
tified, and  how  wicked  it  was  to  kill  the  women  and  children. 
I  was  ordered  to  be  silent.  Higbee  said  I  was  resisting  au- 

He  then  said,  "Brother  Lee  is  afraid  of  shedding  innocent 
blood.  Why,  brethren,  there  is  not  a  drop  of  innocent  blood  in 
that  entire  camp  of  Gentile  outlaws ;  they  are  set  of  cut-throats, 
robbers  and  assassins ;  they  are  a  part  of  the  people  who  drove 
the  Saints  from  Missouri,  and  who  aided  to  shed  the  blood  of 
our  Prophets,  Joseph  and  Hyrum,  and  it  is  our  orders  from  all 
in  authority,  to  get  the  emigrants  from  their  stronghold,  and 
help  the  Indians  kill  them." 

I  then  said  that  Joseph  Smith  had  told  us  never  to  betray 
any  one.  That  we  could  not  get  the  emigrants  out  of  their 
corral  unless  we  used  treachery,  and  I  was  opposed  to  that. 

I  was  interrupted  b}7  Higbee,  Klingensrnith  and  Hopkins,  who 
eaid  it  was  the  orders  of  President  Isaac  C.  Haight  to  us,  and  that 
Haight  had  his  orders  from  Colonel  Dame  and  the  authorities  at 
Parowan,  and  that  all  in  authority  were  of  one  mind,  and  that 
they  had  been  sent  by  the  Council  at  Cedar  City  to  the  Mead- 
ows to  counsel  and  direct  the  way  and  manner  that  the  company 
of  emigrants  should  be  disposed  of. 

The  men  then  in  council,  I  must  here  state,  now  knelt  down  in 
a  prayer  circle  and  prayed,  invoking  the  Spirit  of  God  to  direct 
them  how  to  act  in  the  matter. 

After  prayer,  Major  Higbee  said,  "Here  are  the  orders,"  and 
handed  me  a  paper  from  Haight.  It  was  in  substance  that  it 
was  the  orders  of  Haight  to  decoy  the  emigrants  from  their  posi- 
tion, and  kill  all  of  them  that  could  talk.  This  order  was  in 


writing.     Higbee  handed   it  to   me   and  I  read   it,    and  theu 
dropped  it  on  the  ground,  saying, 

"  I  cannot  do  this." 

The  substance  of  the  orders  were  that  the  emigrants  should  be 
decoyed  from  their  strong-hold,  and  all  exterminated,  so  that  no 
one  would  be  left  to  tell  the  tale,  and  then  the  authorities  could 
say  it  was  done  by  the  Indians. 

The  words  decoy  and  exterminate  were  used  in  that  message 
or  order,  and  these  orders  came  to  us  as  the  orders  from  the 
Council  at  Cedar  City,  and  as  the  orders  of  our  military  supe- 
rior, that  we  were  bound  to  obey.  The  order  was  signed  by 
Haight,  as  commander  of  the  troops  at  Cedar  City. 

Haight  told  me  the  next  day  after  the  massacre,  while  on  the 
Meadows,  that  he  got  his  orders  from  Colonel  Dame. 

I  then  left  the  Council,  and  went  away  to  myself,  and  bowed 
myself  in  prayer  before  God,  and  asked  Him  to  overrule  the  de- 
cision of  that  Council.  I  shed  many  bitter  tears,  and  my  tor- 
tured soul  was  wrung  nearly  from  the  body  by  my  great  suffer- 
ing. I  will  here  say,  calling  upon  Heaven,  angels,  an.d  the 
spirits  of  just  men  to  witness  what  I  say,  that  if  I  could  then 
have  had  a  thousand  worlds  to  command,  I  would  have  given 
them  freely  to  save  that  company  from  death. 

While  in  bitter  anguish,  lamenting  the  sad  condition  of  myself 
and  others,  Charles  Hopkins,  a  man  that  I  had  great  confidence 
in,  came  to  me  from  the  Council,  and  tried  to  comfort  me  by 
saying  that  he  believed  it  was  all  Tight,  for  the  brethren  in  the 
Priesthood  were  all  united  in  the  thing,  and  it  would  not  be  well 
for  me  to  oppose  them. 

I  told  him  the  Lord  must  change  my  heart  before  1  could 
ever  do  such  an  act  willingly.  I  will  further  state  that  there 
was  a  reign  of  terror  in  Utah,  at  that  time,  and  many  a  man  had 
been  put  out  of  the  way,  on  short  notice,  for  disobedience,  and 
I  had  made  some  narrow  escapes. 

At  the  earnest  solicitation  of  Brother  Hopkins,  I  returned  with 
him  to  the  Council.  When  I  got  back,  the  Council  again  prayed 
for  aid.  The  Council  was  called  The  City  Counselors,  the 
Church  or  High  Counselors ;  and  all  in  authority,  together  with 
the  private  citizens,  then  formed  a  circle,  and  kneeling  down,  so 
that  elbows  would  touch  each  other,  several  of  the  brethren 
prayed  for  Divine  instructions. 

After  prayer,  Major  Higbee  said,  "I  have  the  evidence  of  God's 


approval  of  our  mission.  It  is  God's  will  that  we  carry  out  our 
instructions  to  the  letter." 

I  said,  "  My  God!  this  is  more  than  I  can  do.  I  must  and 
do  refuse  to  take  part  in  this  matter." 

Higbee  then  said  to  me,  "  Brother  Lee,  I  am  ordered  by  Pres- 
ident Haight  to  inform  you  that  you  shall  receive  a  crown  of 
Celestial  glory  for  your  faithfulness,  and  your  eternal  joy  shall 
be  complete."  I  was  much  shaken  by  this  offer,  for  I  had-  full 
faith  in  the  power  of  the  Priesthood  to  bestow  such  rewards  and 
blessings,  but  I  was  anxious  to  save  the  people.  I  then  pro- 
posed that  we  give  the  Indians  all  of  the  stock  of  the  emigrants, 
except  sufficient  to  haul  their  wagons,  and  let  them  go.  To  this 
proposition  all  the  leading  men  objected.  No  man  there  raised 
his  voice  or  hand  to  favor  the  saving  of  life,  except  myself. 

The  meeting  was  then  addressed  by  some  one  in  authority, 
I  do  not  remember  who  it  was.  He  spoke  in  about  this  lan- 
guage: "  Brethren,  we  have  been  sent  here  to  perform  a  duty. 
It  is  a  duty  that  we  owe  to  God,  and  to  our  Church  and  people. 
The  orders  of  those  in  authority  are  that  all  the  emigrants  must 
die.  Our  leaders  speak  with  inspired  tongues,  and  their  orders 
come  from  the  God  of  Heaven.  We  have  no  right  to  question 
what  they  have  commanded  us  to  do ;  it  is  our  duty  to  obey.  If 
we  wished  to  act  as  some  of  our  weak-kneed  brethren  desire  us  to 
do,  it  would  be  impossible  ;  the  thing  has  gone  too  far  to  allow  us 
to  stop  now.  The  emigrants  know  that  we  have  aided  the  Indians, 
and  if  we  let  them  go  they  will  bring  certain  destruction  upon 
us.  It  is  a  fact  that  on  Wednesday  night,  two  of  the  emigrants 
got  out  of  camp  and  started  back  to  Cedar  City  for  assistance  to 
withstand  the  Indian  attacks;  they  had  reached  Richards' 
Springs  when  they  met  William  C.  Stewart,  Joel  White  and 
Benjamin  Arthur,  three  of  our  brethren  from  Cedar  City.  The 
men  stated  their  business  to  the  brethren,  and  as  their  horses 
were  drinking  at  the  Spring,  Brother  Stewart,  feeling  unusually 
full  of  zeal  for  the  glory  of  God  and  the  upbuilding  of  the  King- 
dom of  God  on  earth,  shot  and  killed  one  of  the  emigrants,  a 
young  man  by  the  name  of  Aden.  When  Aden  fell  from  his 
horse,  Joel  White  shot  and  wounded  the  other  Gentile  ;  but  he 
unfortunately  got  away,  and  returned  to  his  camp  and  reported 
that  the  Mormons  were  helping  the  Indians  in  all  that  they  were 
doing  against  the  emigrants.  Now  the  emigrants  will  report 
these  facts  in  California  if  we  let  them  go.  We  must  kill  them 


all,  and  our  orders  are  to  get  them  out  by  treachery  if  no  other 
thing  can  be  done  to  get  them  into  our  power." 

Many  of  the  brethren  spoke  in  the  same  way,  all  arguing  that 
the  orders  must  be  carried  out. 

I  was  then  told  the  plan  of  action  had  been  agreed  upon,  and 
it  was  this:  The  emigrants  were  to  be  decoyed  from  their 
strong-hold  under  a  promise  of  protection.  Brother  William 
Bateman  was  to  carry  a  flag  of  truce  and  demand  a  parley,  and 
then  I  was  to  g6  and  arrange  the  terms  of  the  surrender.  I  was 
to  demand  that  all  the  children  who  were  so  young  they  could 
not  talk  should  be  put  into  a  wagon,  and  the  wounded  were  also 
to  be  put  into  a  wagon.  Then  all  the  arms  and  ammunition  of 
the  emigrants  should  be  put  into  a  wagon,  and  I  was  to  agree 
that  the  Mormons  would  protect  the  emigrants  from  the  Indians 
and  conduct  them  to  Cedar  City  in  safety,  where  they  should  be 
protected  until  an  opportunity  came  for  sending  them  to  Cali- 

It  was  agreed  that  when  I  had  made  the  full  agreement  and 
treaty,  as  the  brethren  called  it,  the  wagons  should  start  for 
Hamblin's  Ranch  with  the  arms,  the  wounded  and  the  children. 
The  women  were  to  march  on  foot  and  follow  the  wagons  in  sin- 
gle file ;  the  men  were  to  follow  behind  the  women,  they  also  to 
march  in  single  file.  Major  John  M.  Higbee  was  to  stand  with 
his  militia  company  about  two  hundred  yards  from  the  camp, 
and  stand  in  double  file,  open  order,  with  about  twenty  feet 
space  between  the  files,  so  that  the  wagons  could  pass  between 
them.  The  drivers  were  to  keep  right  along,  and  not  stop  at  the 
troops.  The  women  were  not  to  stop  there,  but  to  follow  the 
wagons.  The  troops  were  to  halt  the  men  for  a  few  minutes, 
until  the  women  were  some  distance  ahead,  out  into  the  cedars, 
where  the  Indians  were  hid  in  ambush.  Then  the  march  was  to 
be  resumed,  the  troops  to  form  in  single  file,  each  soldier  to 
walk  by  an  emigrant,  and  on  the  right-hand  side  of  his  man,  and 
the  soldier  was  to  carry  his  gun  on  his  left  arm,  ready  for  instant 
use.  The  march  was  to  continue  until  the  wagons  had  passed 
beyond  the  ambush  of  the  Indians,  and  until  the  women  were 
right  in  the  midst  of  the  Indians.  Higbee  was  then  to  give  the 
orders  and  words,  "  Do  YOUR  DUTY.  "  At  this  the  troops  were 
to  shoot  down  the  men  ;  the  Indians  were  to  kill  all  of  the  women 
and  larger  children,  and  the  drivers  of  the  wagons  and  I  were  to 
.kill  the  wounded  and  sick  men  that  were  in  the  wagons.  Two 


men  were  to  be  placed  on  horses  near  by,  to  overtake  and  kill 
any  of  the  emigrants  that  might  escape  from  the  first  assault. 
The  Indians  were  to  kill  the  women  and  large  children,  so  that 
it  would  be  certain  that  no  Mormon  would  be  guilty  of  shedding 
innocent  blood — if  it  should  happen  that  there  was  any  innocent 
blood  in  the  company  that  were  to  die.  Our  leading  men  all 
said  that  there  was  no  innocent  blood  in  the  whole  company. 

The  Council  broke  up  a  little  after  daylight  on  Friday  morn- 
ing. All  the  horses,  except  two  for  the  men  to  ride  to  overtake 
those  who  might  escape,  and  one  for  Dan  McFarland  to  ride  as 
Adjutant,  so  that  he  could  carry  orders  from  one  part  of  the 
field  to  another,  were  turned  out  on  the  range.  Then  breakfast 
was  eaten,  and  the  brethren  prepared  for  the  work  in  hand. 

I  was  now  satisfied  that  it  was  the  wish  of  all  of  the  Mormon 
priesthood  to  have  the  thing  done.  One  reason  for  thinking  so 
was  that  it  was  in  keeping  with  the  teachings  of  the  leaders,  and 
as  Utah  was  then  at  war  with  the  United  States  we  believed  all 
the  Gentiles  were  to  be  killed  as  a  war  measure,  and  that  the 
Mormons,  as  God's  chosen  people,  were  to  hold  and  inhabit  the 
earth  and  rule  and  govern  the  globe.  Another,  and  one  of  my 
strongest  reasons  for  believing  that  the  leaders  wished  the  thing 
done,  was  on  account  of  the  talk  that  I  had  with  George  A. 
Smith,  which  I  have  given  in  full  in  this  statement.  I  was  satis- 
fied that  Smith  had  passed  the  emigrants  while  on  his  way  from 
Salt  Lake  City,  and  I  then  knew  this  was  the  train  that  he  meant 
when  he  spoke  of  a  train  that  would  make  threats  and  illtreat 
our  people,  etc. 

The  people  were  in  the  full  blaze  of  the  reformation  and  anx- 
ious to  do  some  act  that  would  add  to  their  reputation  as  zeal- 
ous Churchmen. 

I  therefore,  taking  all  things  into  consideration,  and  believing, 
as  I  then  did,  that  my  superiors  were  inspired  men,  who  could 
not  go  wrong  in  any  matter  relating  to  the  Church  or  the  duty 
of  its  members,  concluded  to  be  obedient  to  the  wishes  of  those 
in  authority.  I  took  up  my  cross  and  prepared  to  do  my  duty. 

Soon  after  breakfast  Major  Higbee  ordered  the  two  Indian  in- 
terpreters, Carl  Shirts  and  Nephi  Johnson,  to  inform  the  Indians 
of  the  plan  of  operations,  and  to  place  the  Indians  in  ambush, 
so  that  they  could  not  be  seen  by  the  emigrants  until  the  work 
of  death  should  commence. 

This  was  done  in  order  to  make  the  emigrants  believe  that  we 


had  sent  the  Indians  away,  and  that  we  were  acting  honestly 
and  in  good  faith,  when  we  agreed  to  protect  them  from  the 

The  orders  were  obeyed,  and  in  five  minutes  not  an  Indian 
could  be  seen  on  the  whole  Meadows.  They  secreted  themselves 
and  lay  still  as  logs  of  wood,  until  the  order  was  given  for  them 
to  rush  out  and  kill  the  women. 

Major  Higbee  then  called  all  the  people  to  order,  and  directed 
me  to  explain  the  whole  plan  to  them.  I  did  so,  explaining  just 
how  every  person  was  expected  to  act  during  the  whole  per- 

Major  Higbee  then  gave  the  order  for  his  men  to  advance. 
They  marched  to  the  spot  agreed  upon,  and  halted  there.  Will- 
iam Baternan  was  then  selected  to  carry  a  flag  of  truce  to  the 
emigrants  and  demand  their  surrender,  and  I  was  ordered  to  go 
and  make  the  treaty  after  some  one  had  replied  to  our  flag  of 
truce.  (The  emigrants  had  kept  a  white  flag  flying  in  their 
camp  ever  since  they  saw  me  cross  the  valley. ) 

Bateman  took  a  white  flag  and  started  for  the  emigrant  camp. 
When  he  got  about  half  way  to  the  corral,  he  was  met  by  one  of 
the  emigrants,  that  I  afterwards  learned  was  named  Hamilton. 
They  talked  some  time,  but  I  never  knew  what  was  said  between 

Brother  Bateman  returned  to  the  command  and  said  that  the 
emigrants  would  accept  our  terms,  and  surrender  as  we  required 
them  to  do. 

I  was  then  ordered  by  Major  Higbee  to  go  to  the  corral  and 
negotiate  the  treaty,  and  superintend  the  whole  matter.  I  was 
again  ordered  to  be  certain  and  get  all  the  arms  and  ammunition 
into  the  wagons.  Also  to  put  the  children  and  the  sick  and 
wounded  in  the  wagons,  as  had  been  agreed  upon  in  council. 
Then  Major  Higbee  said  to  me : 

"Brother  Lee,  we  expect  you  to  faithfully  carry  out  all  the 
instructions  that  have  been  given  you  by  our  council." 

Samuel  McMurdy  and  Samuel  Knight  were  then  ordered  to 
drive  their  teams  and  follow  me  to  the  corral  to  haul  off  the 
children,  arms,  etc. 

The  troops  formed  in  two  lines,  as  had  been  agreed  upon,  and 
were  standing  in  that  way  with  arms  at  rest,  when  I  left  them. 

I  walked  ahead  of  the  wagons  up  to  the  corral.  When  I 
reached  there  I  met  Mr.  Hamilton  on  the  outside  of  the  camp. 


He  loosened  the  chains  from  some  of  their  wagons,  and  moved 
one  wagon  out  of  the  way,  so  that  our  teams  could  drive  in- 
side of  the  corral  and  into  their  camp.  It  was  then  noon,  or  a 
little  after. 

I  found  that  the  emigrants  were  strongly  fortified  ;  their  wag- 
ons were  chained  to  each  other  in  a  circle.  In  the  centre  was  a 
rifle-pit,  large  enough  to  contain  the  entire  company.  This  had 
served  to  shield  them  from  the  constant  fire  of  their  enemy, 
which  had  been  poured  into  them  from  both  sides  of  the  valley, 
from  a  rocky  range  that  served  as  a  breastwork  for  their  assail- 
ants. The  valley  at  this  point  was  not  more  than  five  hundred 
yards  wide,  and  the  emigrants  had  their  camp  near  the  center  of 
the  valley.  On  the  east  and  west  there  was  a  low  range  of  rug- 
ged, rocky  mountains,  affording  a  splendid  place  for  the  protec- 
tion of  the  Indians  and  Mormons,  and  leaving  them  in  compara- 
tive safety  while  they  fired  upon  the  emigrants.  The  valley  at 
this  place  runs  nearly  due  north  and  south. 

When  I  entered  the  corral,  I  found  the  emigrants  engaged  in 
burying  two  men  of  note  among  them,  who  had  died  but  a 
short  time  before  from  the  effect  of  wounds  received  by  them 
from  the  Indians  at  the  time  of  the  first  attack  on  Tuesday  morn- 
ing. They  wrapped  the  bodies  up  in  buffalo  robes,  and  buried 
them  in  a  grave  inside  the  corral.  I  was  then  told  by  some  of 
the  men  that  seven  men  were  killed  and  seventeen  others  were 
wounded  at  the  first  attack  made  by  the  Indians,  and  that  three 
of  the  wounded  men  had  since  died,  making  ten  of  their  num- 
ber killed  during  the  siege. 

As  I  entered  the  fortifications,  men,  women  and  children  gath- 
ered around  me  in  wild  consternation.  Some  felt  that  the  time 
of  their  happy  deliverance  had  come,  while  others,  though  in 
deep  distress,  and  all  in  tears,  looked  upon  me  with  doubt,  dis- 
trust and  terror.  My  feelings  at  this  time  may  be  imagined 
(but  I  doubt  the  power  of  man  being  equal  to  even  imagine  how 
wretched  I  felt.)  No  language  can  describe  my  feelings.  My 
position  was  painful,  trying  and  awful ;  my  brain  seemed  to  be 
on  fire  ;  my  nerves  were  for  a  moment  unstrung ;  humanity  was 
overpowered,  as  I  thought  of  the  cruel,  unmanly  part  that  I 
was  acting.  Tears  of  bitter  anguish  fell  in  streams  from  my 
eyes ;  my  tongue  refused  its  office  ;  my  faculties  were  dormant, 
stupefied  and  deadened  by  grief.  I  wished  that  the  earth  would 
open  and  swallow  me  where  I  stood.  God  knows  my  suffering 


was  great.  I  cannot  describe  my  feelings.  I  knew  that  I  was 
acting  a  cruel  part  and  doing  a  damnable  deed.  Yet  my  faith 
in  the  godliness  of  my  leaders  was  such  that  it  forced  me  to 
think  that  I  was  not  sufficiently  spiritual  to  act  the  important 
part  I  was  commanded  to  perform.  My  hesitation  was  only 
momentary.  Then  feeling  that  dut}r  compelled  obedience  to  or- 
ders, I  laid  aside  my  weakness  and  my  humanity,  and  became 
an  instrument  in  the  hands  of  my  superiors  and  my  leaders. 
I  delivered  my  message  and  told  the  people  that  they  must  put 
their  arms  in  the  wagon,  so  as  not  to  arouse  the  animosity  of 
the  Indians.  I  ordered  the  children  and  wounded,  some  cloth- 
ing and  the  arms,  to  be  put  into  the  wagons.  Their  guns  were 
mostly  Kentucky  rifles  of  the  muzzle-loading  style.  Their  am- 
munition was  about  all  gone — I  do  not  think  there  were  twenty 
loads  left  in  their  whole  camp.  If  the  emigrants  had  had  a 
good  supply  of  ammunition  they  never  would  have  surrendered, 
and  I  do  not  think  we  could  have  captured  them  without  great 
loss,  for  they  were  brave  men  and  very  resolute  and  deter- 

Just  as  the  wagons  were  loaded,  Dan.  McFarland  came  riding 
into  the  corral  and  said  that  Major  Highee  had  ordered  great 
haste  to  be  made,  for  he  was  afraid  that  the  Indians  would 
return  and  renew  the  attack  before  he  could  get  the  emigrants 
to  a  place  of  safety. 

I  hurried  up  the  people  and  started  the  wagons  off  towards 
Cedar  City.  As  we  went  out  of  the  corral  I  ordered  the  wagons 
to  turn  to  the  left,  so  as  to  leave  the  troops  to  the  right  of  us. 
Dan.  McFarland  rode  before  the  women  and  led  them  right  up 
to  the  troops,  where  they  still  stood  in  open  order  as  I  left  them. 
The  women  and  larger  children  were  walking  ahead,  as  directed, 
and  the  men  following  them.  The  foremost  man  was  about  fifty 
yards  behind  the  hindmost  woman. 

The  women  and  children  were  hurried  right  on  by  the  troops. 
When  the  men  came  up  they  cheered  the  soldiers  as  if  they  be- 
lieved that  they  were  acting  honestly.  Higbee  then  gave  the 
orders  for  his  men  to  form  in  single  file  and  take  their  places  as 
ordered  before,  that  is,  at  the  right  of  the  emigrants. 

I  saw  this  much,  but  about  this  time  our  wagons  passed  out 
of  sight  of  the  troops,  over  the  hill.  I  had  disobeyed  orders  in 
part  by  turning  off  as  I  did,  for  I  was  anxious  to  be  out  of  sight 
of  the  bloody  deed  that  I  knew  was  to  follow.  I  knew  that  I 









had  much  to  do  yet  that  was  of  a  cruel  and  unnatural  character. 
It  was  my  duty,  with  the  two  drivers,  to  kill  the  sick  and 
wounded  who  were  in  the  wagons,  and  to  do  so  when  we  heard 
the  guns  of  the  troops  fire.  I  was  walking  between  the 
wagons ;  the  horses  were  going  in  a  fast  walk,  and  we  were  fully 
half  a  mile  from  Major  Higbee  and  his  men,  when  we  heard  the 
firing.  As  we  heard  the  guns,  I  ordered  a  halt  and  we  proceed- 
ed to  do  our  part. 

I  here  pause  in  the  recital  of  this  horrid  story  of  man's  in- 
humanity, and  ask  myself  the  question,  Is  it  honest  in  me,  and 
can  I  clear  my  conscience  before  my  God,  if  I  screen  myself 
while  I  accuse  others?  No,  never!  Heaven  forbid  that  I  should 
put  a  burden  upon  others'  shoulders,  that  I  am  unwilling  to 
bear  my  just  portion  of.  I  am  not  a  traitor  to  my  people,  nor 
to  my  former  friends  and  comrades  who  were  with  me  on  that 
dark  day  when  the  work  of  death  was  carried  on  in  God's  name, 
by  a  lot  of  deluded  and  religious  fanatics.  It  is  my  duty  to  tell 
facts  as  they  exist,  and  I  will  do  so. 

I  have  said  that  all  of  the  small  children  were  put  into  the 
wagons ;  that  was  wrong,  for  one  little  child,  about  six  months 
old,  was  carried  in  its  father's  arms,  and  it  was  killed  by  the 
same  bullet  that  entered  its  father's  breast ;  it  was  shot  through 
the  head.  I  was  told  by  Haight  afterwards,  that  the  child  was 
killed  by  accident,  but  I  cannot  say  whether  that  is  a  fact  or  not. 
I  saw  it  lying  dead  when  I  returned  to  the  place  of  slaughter. 

When  we  had  got  out  of  sight,  as  I  said  before,  and  just  as 
we  were  coming  into  the  main  road,  I  heard  a  volley  of  guns  at 
the  place  where  I  knew  the  troops  and  emigrants  were.  Our 
teams  were  then  going  at  a  fast  walk.  I  first  heard  one  gun, 
then  a  volley  at  once  followed. 

McMurdy  and  Knight  stopped  their  teams  at  once,  for  they 
were  ordered  by  Higbee,  the  same  as  I  was,  to  help  kill  all  the 
sick  and  wounded  who  were  in  the  wagons,  and  to  do  it  as  soon 
as  they  heard  the  guns  of  the  troops.  McMurdy  was  in  front; 
his  wagon  was  mostly  loaded  with  the  arms  and  small  children. 
McMurdy  and  Knight  got  out  of  their  wagons ;  each  one  had  a 
rifle.  McMurdy  went  up  to  Knight's  wagon,  where  the  sick  and 
wounded  were,  and  raising  his  rifle  to  his  shoulder,  said:  "O 
Lord,  my  God,  receive  their  spirits,  it  is  for  thy  Kingdom  that  1 
do  this."  He  then  shot  a  man  who  was  lying  with  his  head  on 
another  man's  breast ;  the  ball  killed  both  men. 


I  also  went  up  to  the  wagon,  intending  to  do  my  part  of  the 
killing.  I  drew  my  pistol  and  cocked  it,  but  somehow  it  went 
off  prematurely,  and  I  shot  McMurdy  across  the  thigh,  my  pistol 
ball  cutting  his  buck-skin  pants.  McMurdy  turned  to  me  and 
said : 

" Brother  Lee,  keep  cool,  you  are  excited;  you  came  very 
near  killing  me.  Keep  cool,  there  is  no  reason  for  being  ex- 

Knight  then  shot  a  man  with  his  rifle  ;  he  shot  the  man  in  the 
head.  Knight  also  brained  a  boy  that  was  about  fourteen  years 
old.  The  boy  came  running  up  to  our  wagons,  and  Knight  struck 
him  on  the  head  with  the  butt  end  of  his  gun,  and  crushed 
his  skull.  By  this  time  many  Indians  reached  our  wagons,  and 
all  of  the  sick  and  wounded  were  killed  almost  instantly. 
I  saw  an  Indian  from  Cedar  City,  called  Joe,  run  up  to  the 
wagon  and  catch  a  man  by  the  hair,  and  raise  his  head  up 
and  look  into  his  face ;  the  man  shut  his  eyes,  and  Joe  shot  him 
in  the  head.  The  Indians  then  examined  all  of  the  wounded  in 
the  wagons,  and  all  of  the  bodies,  to  see  if  any  were  alive,  and 
all  that  showed  signs  of  life  were  at  once  shot  through  the  head. 
I  did  not  kill  any  one  there,  but  it  was  an  accident  that  kept 
me  from  it,  for  I  fully  intended  to  do  my  part  of  the  killing,  but 
by  the  time  I  got  over  the  excitement  of  coming  so  near  killing 
McMurdy,  the  whole  of  the  killing  of  the  wounded  was  done. 
There  is  no  truth  in  the  statement  of  Nephi  Johnson,  where  he 
says  I  cut  a  man's  throat. 

Just  after  the  wounded  were  all  killed  I  saw  a  girl,  some  ten 
or  eleven  years  old,  running  towards  us,  from  the  direction 
where  the  troops  had  attacked  the  main  body  of  emigrants ;  she 
was  covered  with  blood.  An  Indian  shot  her  before  she  got  with- 
in sixty  yards  of  us.  That  was  the  last  person  that  I  saw  killed 
on  that  occasion. 

About  this  time  an  Indian  rushed  to  the  front  wagon,  and 
grabbed  a  little  boy,  and  was  going  to  kill  him.  The  lad 
got  away  from  the  Indian  and  ran  to  me,  and  caught  me  by  the 
knees ;  and  begged  me  to  save  him,  and  not  let  the  Indian  kill 
him.  The  Indian  had  hurt  the  little  fellow's  chin  on  the  wagon- 
bed,  when  he  first  caught  hold  of  him.  I  told  the  Indian  to  let 
the  boy  alone.  I  took  the  child  up  in  my  arms,  and  put  him 
back  in  the  wagon,  and  saved  his  life.  This  little  boy  said  his 
name  was  Charley  Fancher,  and  that  his  father  was  Captain  of 


the  train.  He  was  a  bright  boy.  I  afterwards  adopted  him, 
and  gave  him  to  Caroline.  She  kept  him  until  Dr.  Forney  took 
all  the  children  East.  I  believe  that  William  Sloan,  alias  Idaho 
Bill,  is  the  same  boy. 

After  all  the  parties  were  dead,  I  ordered  Knight  to  drive  out  on 
one  side,  and  throw  out  the  dead  bodies.  He  did  so,  and  threw 
them  out  of  his  wagon  at  a  place  about  one  hundred  yards 
from  the  road,  and  then  came  back  to  where  I  was  standing.  I 
then  ordered  Knight  and  McMurdy  to  take  the  children  that 
were  saved  alive,  (sixteen  was  the  number,  some  say  seventeen, 
I  say  sixteen,)  and  drive  on  to  Hamblin's  ranch.  They  did  as  I 
ordered  them  to  do.  Before  the  wagons  started,  Nephi  Johnson 
came  up  in  company  with  the  Indians  that  were  under  his  com- 
mand, and  Carl  Shirts  I  think  came  up  too,  but  I  know  that  I 
then  considered  that  Carl  Shirts  was  a  coward,  and  I  afterwards 
made  him  suffer  for  being  a  coward.  Several  white  men  came 
up  too,  but  I  cannot  tell  their  names,  as  I  have  forgotten  who 
they  were. 

Knight  lied  when  he  said  I  went  to  the  ranch  and  ordered  him 
to  go  to  the  field  with  his  team.  I  never  knew  anything  of  his 
team,  or  heard  of  it,  until  he  came  with  a  load  of  armed  men  in 
his  wagon,  on  the  evening  of  Thursday.  If  any  one  ordered  him 
to  go  to  the  Meadows,  it  was  Higbee.  Every  witness  that  claims 
that  he  went  to  the  Meadows  without  knowing  what  he  was 
going  to  do,  has  lied,  for  they  all  knew,  as  well  as  Haight  or  any 
one  else  did,  and  they  all  voted,  every  man  of  them,  in  the 
Council,  on  Friday  morning,  a  little  before  daylight,  to  kill  all 
the  emigrants. 

After  the  wagons,  with  the  children,  had  started  for  Hamblin's' 
ranch,  I  turned  and  walked  back  to  where  the  brethren  were. 
Nephi  Johnson  lies  when  he  says  he  was  on  horse-back,  and  met 
me,  or  that  I  gave  him  orders  to  go  to  guard  the  wagons.  He 
is  a  perjured  wretch,  and  has  sworn  to  every  thing  he  could  to 
injure  me.  God  knows  what  I  did  do  was  bad  enough,  but  he  has 
lied  to  suit  the  leaders  of  the  Church,  who  want  me  out  of  the 

While  going  back  to  the  brethren,  I  passed  the  bodies  of 
several  women.  In  one  place  I  saw  six  or  seven  bodies  near 
each  other ;  they  were  stripped  perfectly  naked,  and  all  of  their 
clothing  was  torn  from  their  bodies  by  the  Indians. 

I  walked  along  the  line  where  the  emigrants  had  been  killed, 


and  saw  many  bodies  lying  dead  and  naked  on  the  field,  near  by 
where  the  women  lay.  I  saw  ten  children ;  they  had  been  killed 
close  to  each  other ;  they  were  from  ten  to  sixteen  years  of  age. 
The  bodies  of  the  women  and  children  were  scattered  along  the 
ground  for  quite  a  distance  before  I  came  to  where  the  men 
were  killed. 

I  do  not  know  how  many  were  killed,  but  I  thought  then  that 
there  were  some  fifteen  women,  about  ten  children,  and  about 
forty  men  killed,  but  the  statement  of  others  that  I  have  since 
talked  with  about  the  massacre,  makes  me  think  there  were  fully 
one  hundred  and  ten  killed  that  day  on  the  Mountain  Meadows, 
and  the  ten  who  had  died  in  the  corral,  and  young  Aden  killed 
by  Stewart  at  Richards'  Springs,  would  make  the  total  number 
one  hundred  and  twenty-one. 

When  I  reached  the  place  where  the  dead  men  lay,  I  was  told 
how  the  order's  had  been  obeyed.  Major  Higbee  said,  "  The 
boys  have  acted  admirably,  they  took  good  aim,  and  all  of  the 
d — d  Gentiles  but  two  or  three  fell  at  the  first  fire." 

He  said  that  three  or  four  got  away  some  distance,  but  the- 
men  on  horses  soon  overtook  them  and  cut  their  throats.  Higbee 
said  the  Indians  did  their  part  of  the  work  well,  that  it  did  not 
take  over  a  minute  to  finish  up  when  they  got  fairly  started.  I 
found  that  the  first  orders  had  been  carried  out  to  the  letter. 

Three  of  the  emigrants  did  get  away,  but  the  Indians  were 
put  on  their  trail  and  they  overtook  and  killed  them  before  they 
reached  the  settlements  in  California.  But  it  would  take  more 
time  than  I  have  to  spare  to  give  the  details  of  their  chase  and 
capture.  I  may  do  so  in  my  writings  hereafter,  but  not  now. 

I  found  Major  Higbee,  Klingensmith,  and  most  of  the  brethren 
standing  near  by  where  the  largest  number  of  the  dead  men  lay. 
When  I  went  up  to  the  brethren,  Major  Higbee  said, 

"We  must  now  examine  the  bodies  for  valuables." 

I  said  I  did  not  wish  to  do  any  such  work. 

Higbee  then  said,  "Well,  you  hold  my  hat  and  I  will  examine 
the  bodies,  and  put  what  valuables  I  get  into  the  hat." 

The  bodies  were  all  searched  by  Higbee,  Klingensmith  and 
Wm.  C.  Stewart.  I  did  hold  the  hat  a  while,  but  I  soon  got  so 
sick  that  I  had  to  give  it  to  some  other  person,  as  I  was  unable 
to  stand  for  a  few  minutes.  The  search  resulted  in  getting  a 
little  money  and  a  few  watches,  but  there  was  not  much  money. 
Higbee  and  Klingensmith  kept  the  property,  I  suppose,  for  I 


never  knew  what  became  of  it,  unless  they  did  keep  it.  I  think 
they  kept  it  all. 

After  the  dead  were  searched,  as  I  have  just  said,  the  breth- 
ren were  called  up,  and  Higbee  and  Klingensmith,  as  well  as  my- 
self, made  speeches,  and  ordered  the  people  to  keep  the  matter 
a  secret  from  the  entire  world.  Not  to  tell  their  wives,  or  their 
most  intimate  friends,  and  we  pledged  ourselves  to  keep  every- 
thing relating  to  the  affair  a  secret  during  life.  We  also  took 
the  most  binding  oaths  to  stand  by  each  other,  and  to  always 
insist  that  the  massacre  was  committed  by  Indians  alone.  This 
was  the  advice  of  Brigham  Young  too,  as  I  will  show  hereafter. 

The  men  were  mostly  ordered  to  camp  there  on  the  field  for 
that  night,  but  Higbee  and  Klingensmith  went  with  me  to  Hamb- 
lin's  ranch,  where  we  got  something  to  eat,  and  staid  there  all 
night.  I  was  nearly  dead  for  rest  and  sleep  ;  in  fact  I  had  rested 
but  little  since  the  Saturday  night  before.  I  took  my  saddle- 
blanket  and  spread  it  on  the  ground  soon  after  I  had  eaten  my 
supper,  and  lay  down  on  the  saddle-blanket,  using  my  saddle  for 
a  pillow,  and  slept  soundly  until  next  morning. 

I  was  awakened  in  the  morning  by  loud  talking  between  Isaac 
C.  Haight  and  William  H.  Dame.  They  were  very  much  excited, 
and  quarreling  with  each  other.  I  got  up  at  once,  but  was 
unable  to  hear  what  they  were  quarreling  about,  for  they  cooled 
down  as  soon  as  they  saw  that  others  were  paying  attention  to 

I  soon  learned  that  Col.  Dame,  Judge  Lewis  of  Parowan,  and 
Isaac  C.  Haight,  with  several  others,  had  arrived  at  the  Hamb- 
lin  ranch  in  the  night,  but  I  do  not  know  what  time  they  got 

After  breakfast  we  all  went  back  in  a  body  to  the  Meadows, 
to  bury  the  dead  and  take  care  of  the  property  that  was  left 

When  we  reached  the  Meadows  we  all  rode  up  to  that  part  of 
the  field  where  the  women  were  lying  dead.  The  bodies  of  men, 
women  and  children  had  been  stripped  entirely  naked,  making 
the  scene  one  of  the  most  loathsome  and  ghastly  that  can  be 

Knowing  that  Dame  and  Haight  had  quarreled  at  Hamblin's 
that  morning,  I  wanted  to  know  how  they  would  act  in  sight  of 
the  dead,  who  lay  there  as  the  result  of  their  orders.  I  was 


greatly  interested  to  know  what  Dame  had  to  say,  so  I  kept 
close  to  them,  without  appearing  to  be  watching  them. 

Colonel  Dame  was  silent  for  some  time.  He  looked  all  over 
the  field,  and  was  quite  pale,  and  looked  uneasy  and  frightened. 
I  thought  then  that  he  was  just  finding  out  the  difference  be- 
tween giving  and  executing  orders  for  wholesale  killing.  He 
spoke  to  Haight,  and  said : 

"I  must  report  this  matter  to  the  authorities." 

"  How  will  you  report  it?"  said  Haight. 

Dame  said,  "I  will  report  it  just  as  it  is." 

"Yes,  I  suppose  so,  and  implicate  yourself  with  the  rest?'v 
said  Haight. 

"No,"  said  Dame.  "I  will  not  implicate  myself,  for  I  had 
nothing  to  do  with  it."  , 

Haight  then  said,  "That  will  not  do,  for  you  know  a  d — d 
sight  better.  You  ordered  it  done.  Nothing  has  been  done 
except  by  your  orders,  and  it  is  too  late  in  the  day  for  you  to 
order  things  done  and  then  go  back  on  it,  and  go  back  on  the 
men  who  have  carried  out  jour  orders.  You  cannot  sow  pig  on 
me,  and  I  will  be  d — d  if  I  will  stand  it.  You  are  as  much  to 
blame  as  any  one,  and  you  know  that  we  have  done  nothing  ex- 
cept what  you  ordered  done.  I  know  that  I  have  obeyed  orders, 
and  by  G — d  I  will  not  be  lied  on." 

Colonel  Dame  was  much  excited.  He  choked  up,  and  would 
have  gone  away,  but  he  knew  Haight  was  a  man  of  determina- 
tion, and  would  not  stand  any  foolishness. 

As  soon  as  Colonel  Dame  could  collect  himself,  he  said : 

"  I  did  not  think  there  were  so  many  of  them,  or  I  would  not 
have  had  anything  to  do  with  it." 

I  thought  it  was  now  time  for  me  to  chip  in,  so  I  said : 

"  Brethren,  what  is  the  trouble  between  you?  It  will  not  do 
for  our  chief  men  to  disagree." 

Haight  stepped  up  to  ray  side,  a  little  in  front  of  me,,  and  fac- 
ing Colonel  Dame.  He  was  very  mad,  and  said  : 

"  The  trouble  is  just  this :  Colonel  Dame  counseled  and  ordered 
me  to  do  this  thing,  and  now  he  wants  to  back  out,  and  go  back 
on  me,  and  by  G — d,  he  shall  not  do  it.  He  shall  not  lay  it  all  on 
me.  He  cannot  do  it.  He  must  not  try  to  do  it.  I  will  blow 
him  to  h — I  before  he  shall  lay  it  all  on  me.  He  has  got  to  stand 
up  to  what  he  did,  like  a  little  man.  He  knows  he  ordered  it 
done,  and  I  dare  him  to  deny  it." 


Colonel  Dame  was  perfectly  cowed.  He  did  not  offer  to  deny 
it  again,  but  said : 

"Isaac,  I  did  not  know  there  were  so  many  of  them." 

"That  makes  no  difference,"  said  Haight,  "you  ordered  me 
to  do  it,  and  you  have  got  to  stand  up  for  your  orders." 

I  thought  it  was  now  time  to  stop  the  fuss,  for  many  of  the 
young  brethren  were  coming  around.  So  I  said : 

"Brethren,  this  is  no  place  to  talk  over  such  a  matter.  You 
will  agree  when  you  get  where  you  can  be  quiet,  and  talk  it 

Haight  said,  "There  is  no  more  to  say,  for  he  knows  he  or- 
dered it  done,  and  he  has  got  to  stand  by  it." 

That  ended  the  trouble  between  them,  and  I  never  heard  of 
Colonel  Dame  denying  the  giving  of  the  orders  any  more,  until 
after  the  Church  authorities  concluded  to  offer  me  up  for  the 
sins  of  the  Church. 

We  then  went  along  the  field,  and  passed  by  where  the  breth- 
ren were  at  work  covering  up  the  bodies.  They  piled  the  dead 
bodies  up  in  heaps,  in  little  gullies,  and  threw  dirt  over  them. 
The  bodies  were  only  lightly  covered,  for  the  ground  was  hard, 
and  the  brethren  did  not  have  sufficient  tools  to  dig  with.  I 
suppose  it  is  true  that  the  first  rain  washed  the  bodies  all  out 
again,  but  I  never  went  back  to  examine  whether  it  did  or  not. 

We  then  went  along  the  field  to  where  the  corral  and  camp 
had  been,  to  where  the  wagons  were  standing.  We  found  that 
the  Indians  had  carried  off  all  of  the  wagon  covers,  and  the 
clothing,  and  the  provisions,  and  had  emptied  the  feathers  out  of 
the  feather-beds,  and  carried  off  all  the  ticks. 

After  the  dead  were  covered  up  or  buried  (but  it  was  not 
much  of  a  burial,)  the  brethren  were  called  together,  and  a 
council  was  held  at  the  emigrant  camp.  All  the  leading  men 
made  speeches  ;  Colonel  Dame,  President  Haight,  Klingensmith, 
John  M.  Higbee,  Hopkins  and  myself.  The  speeches  were 
first — Thanks  to  God  for  delivering  our  enemies  into  our  hands  ; 
next,  thanking  the  brethren  for  their  zeal  in  God's  cause  ;  and 
then  the  necessity  of  always  saying  the  Indians  did  it  alone,  and 
that  the  Mormons  had  nothing  to  do  with  it.  The  most  of  the 
speeches,  however,  were  in  the  shape  of  exhortations  and  com- 
mands to  keep  the  whole  matter  secret  from  every  one  but 
Brigham  Young.  It  was  voted  unanimously  that  any  man  who 
should  divulge  the  secret,  or  tell  who  was  present,  or  do  any- 


thing  that  would  lead  to  a  discovery  of  the  truth,  should  suffer 

The  brethren  theu  all  took  a  most  solemn  oath,  binding  them- 
selves under  the  most  dreadful  and  awful  penalties,  to  keep  the 
whole  matter  secret  from  every  human  being,  as  long  as  they 
should  live.  No  man  was  to  know  the  facts.  The  brethren  were 
sworn  not  to  talk  of  it  among  themselves,  and  each  one  swore  to 
help  kill  all  who  proved  to  be  traitors  to  the  Church  or  people  in 
this  matter. 

It  was  then  agreed  that  Brigham  Young  should  be  informed 
of  the  whole  matter,  by  some  one  to  be  selected  by  the  Church 
Council,  after  the  brethren  had  returned  home. 

It  was  also  voted  to  turn  all  the  property  over  to  Klingen- 
smith,  as  Bishop  of  the  Church  at  Cedar  City,  and  he  was  to 
take  care  of  the  property  for  the  benefit  of  the  Church,  until 
Brigham  Young  was  notified,  and  should  give  further  orders 
what  to  do  with  it. 



DAME  then  blest  the  brethren  and  we  prepared 
to  go  to  our  homes.  I  took  my  little  Indian  boy,  Clem, 
on  the  horse  behind  me,  and  started  home.  I  crossed  the  moun- 
tains and  returned  the  same  way  I  had  come. 

When  I  got  in  about  two  miles  of  Harmony,  I  overtook  a 
body  of  about  forty  Indians,  on  their  way  home  from  the  massa- 
cre. They  had  a  large  amount  of  bloody  clothing,  and  were 
driving  several  head  of  cattle  that  they  had  taken  from  the 

The  Indians  were  very  glad  to  see  me,  and  said  I  was  their 
Captain,  and  that  they  were  going  to  Harmony  with  me  as  my 
men.  It  was  the  orders  from  the  Church  authorities  to  do 
everything  we  could  to  pacify  the  Indians,  and  make  them  the 
fast  friends  of  the  Mormons,  so  I  concluded  to  humor  them. 

I  started  on  and  they  marched  after  me  until  we  reached  the 
fort  at  Harmony.  We  went  into  the  fort  and  marched  round 
inside,  after  which  they  halted  and  gave  their  whoop  of  victory, 
which  means  much  the  same  with  them  as  the  cheers  do  with  the 
whites.  I  then  ordered  the  Indians  to  be  fed;  my  family  gave 
them  some  bread  and  melons,  which  they  eat,  and  then  they  left 
me  and  went  to  their  tribe. 

I  will  here  state  again  that  on  the  field,  before  and  after  the 
massacre,  and  again  at  the  council  at  the  emigrant  camp,  the 
day  after  the  massacre,  orders  were  given  to  keep  everything 
secret,  and  if  any  man  told  the  secret  to  any  human  being,  he 
was  to  be  killed,  and  I  assert  as  a  fact  that  if  any  man  had  told 
it  then,  or  for  many  years  afterwards,  he  would  have  died,  for 
some  '•''Destroying  Angel"  would  have  followed  his  trail  and 
sent  him  over  the  l'rim  of  the  basin." 


From  that  day  to  this  it  has  been  the  understanding  with  all 
concerned  in  that  massacre,  that  the  man  who  divulged  the 
secret  should  die ;  he  was  to  be  killed,  wherever  he  was  found, 
for  treason  to  the  men  who  killed  the  emigrants,  and  for  his 
treason  to  the  Church.  No  man  was  at  liberty  to  tell  his  wife,  or 
any  one  else,  nor  were  the  brethren  permitted  to  talk  of  it  even 
among  themselves.  Such  were  the  orders  and  instructions,  from 
Brigham  Young  down  to  the  lowest  in  authority.  The  orders 
to  lay  it  all  to  the  Indians,  were  just  as  positive  as  they  were  to- 
keep  it  all  secret.  This  was  the  counsel  from  all  iu  authority, 
and  for  years  it  was  faithfully  observed. 

The  children  that  were  saved  were  taken  to  Cedar  City,  and 
other  settlements,  and  put  out  among  different  families,  where 
they  were  kept  until  they  were  given  up  to  Dr.  Forney,  the 
Agent  of  the  United  States,  who  came  for  them. 

I  did  not  have  anything  to  do  with  the  property  taken  from 
the  emigrants,  or  the  cattle,  or  anything  else,  for  some  three 
months  after  the  massacre,  and  then  I  only  took  charge  of  the 
cattle  because  I  was  ordered  to  do  so  by  Brigham  Young. 

There  were  eighteen  wagons  in  all  at  the  emigrant  camp. 
They  were  all  wooden  axles  but  one,  and  that  was  a  light  iron 
axle ;  it  had  been  hauled  by  four  mules.  There  were  something 
over  five  hundred  head  of  cattle,  but  I  never  got  the  half  of 
them.  The  Indians  killed  a  large  number  at  the  time  of  the 
massacre,  and  drove  others  to  their  tribes  when  they  went  home 
from  Mountain  Meadows.  Klingensmith  put  the  Church  brand 
on  fifty  head  or  more,  of  the  best  of  the  cattle,  and  then  he  and 
Haight  and  Higbee  drove  the  cattle  to  Salt  Lake  City  and  sold 
them  for  goods  that  they  brought  back  to  Cedar  City  to  trade  on. 

The  Indians  got  about  twenty  head  of  horses  and  mules. 
Samuel  Knight,  one  of  the  witnesses  on  my  trial,  got  a  large 
sorrel  mare ;  Haight  got  a  span  of  average  American  mules ; 
Joel  White  got  a  fine  mare ;  Higbee  got  a  good  large  mule ; 
Klingensmith  got  a  span  of  mules.  Haight,  Higbee  and  Allen 
each  took  a  wagon.  The  people  all  took  what  the}'  wanted,  and 
they  had  divided  and  used  up  much  over  half  of  it  before  I  was 
put  in  charge. 

The  first  time  I  heard  that  a  messenger  had  been  sent  to 
Brigham  Young  for  instructions  as  to  what  should  be  done  with 
the  emigrants,  was  three  or  four  days  after  I  had  returned  home 



from  the  Meadows.     Then  I  heard  of  it  from  Isaac  C.  Haight, 
when  he  came  to  my  house  and  had  a  talk  with  me.    He  said : 

"We  are  all  in  a  muddle.  Haslem  has  returned  from  Salt 
Lake  City,  with  orders  from  Brigham  Young  to  let  the  emigrants 
pass  in  safety." 

In  this  conversation  Haight  also  said : 

"  I  sent  an  order  to  Higbee  to  save  the  emigrants,  after  I  had' 
sent  the  orders  for  killing  them  all,  but  for  some  reason  the 
message  did  not  reach  him.  I  understand  the  messenger  did 
not  go  to  the  Meadows  at  all." 

I  at  once  saw  that  we  were  in  a  bad  fix,  and  I  asked  Haight 
what  was  to  be  done.  We  talked  the  matter  over  again. 

Haight  then  told  me  that  it  was  the  orders  of  the  Council  that 
I  should  go  to  Salt  Lake  City  and  lay  the  whole  matter  before 
Brigham  Young.  I  asked  him  if  he  was  not  going  to  write  a  re- 
port of  it  to  the  Governor,  as  he  was  the  right  man  to  do  it,  for 
he  was  in  command  of  the  militia  in  that  section  of  country,  and 
next  to  Dame  in  command  of  the  whole  district.  I  told  him 
that  it  was  a  matter  which  really  belonged  to  the  military  depart- 
ment, and  should  be  so  reported. 

He  refused  to  write  a  report,  saying : 

"You  can  report  it  better  than  I  could  write  it.  You  are  like 
a  member  of  Brigham' s  family,  and  can  talk  to  him  privately 
and  confidentially.  I  want  you  to  take  all  of  it  on  yourself  that 
you  can,  and  not  expose  any  more  of  the  brethren  than  you  find 
absolutely  necessary.  Do  this,  Brother  Lee,  as  I  order  you  to- 
do,  and  you  shall  receive  a  celestial  reward  for  it,  and  the  time 
will  come  when  all  who  acted  with  us  will  be  glad  for  the  part 
they  have  taken,  for  the  time  is  near  at  hand  when  the  Saints 
are  to  enjoy  the  riches  of  the  earth.  And  all  who  deny  the  faith 
and  doctrines  of  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter  Day  Saints 
shall  be  slain — the  sword  of  vengeance  shall  shed  their  blood ; 
their  wealth  shall  be  given  as  a  spoil  to  our  people." 

At  that  time  I  believed  everything  he  said,  and  I  fully  ex- 
pected to  receive  the  celestial  reward  that  he  promised  me.  But 
now  1  say,  Damn  all  such  "celestial  rewards"  as  I  am  to  get  for 
what  I  did  on  that  fatal  day. 

It  was  then  preached  every  Sunday  to  the  people  that  the 
Mormons  were  to  conquer  the  earth  at  once,  and  the  people  all 
thought  that  the  millennium  had  come,  and  that  Christ's  reign 
upon  earth  would  soon  begin,  as  an  accomplished  fact. 


According  to  the  orders  of  Isaac  C.  Haight,  I  started  for  Salt 
Lake  City  to  report  the  whole  facts  connected  with  the  mas- 
sacre, to  Brigham  Young.  I  started  about  a  week  or  ten  days 
after  the  massacre,  and  I  was  on  the  way  about  ten  days.  When 
I  arrived  in  the  city  I  went  to  the  President's  house  and  gave  to 
Brigham  Young  a  full,  detailed  statement  of  the  whole  affair, 
from  first  to  last — only  I  took  rather  more  on  myself  than  I  had 

He  asked  me  if  I  had  brought  a  letter  from  Haight,  with  his 
report  of  the  affair.  I  said : 

' '  No,  Haight  wished  me  to  make  a  verbal  report  of  it,  as  I 
was  an  eye  witness  to  much  of  it." 

I  then  went  over  the  whole  affair  and  gave  him  as  full  a  state- 
ment as  it  was  possible  for  me  to  give.  I  described  everything 
about  it.  I  told  him  of  the  orders  Haight  first  gave  me.  I  told 
him  everything.  I  told  him  that  "Brother  McMurdy,  Brother 
Knight  and  myself  killed  the  wounded  men  in  the  wagons,  with 
the  assistance  of  the  Indians.  We  killed  six  wounded  men." 

He  asked  me  many  questions,  and  I  told  him  every  particular, 
and  everything  that  I  knew.  I  described  everything  very  fully. 
I  told  him  what  I  had  said  against  killing  the  women  and  chil- 

Brigham  then  said : 

"Isaac  (referring  to  Haight)  has  sent  me  word  that  if  they 
had  killed  every  man,  woman  and  child  in  the  outfit,  there  would 
not  have  been  a  drop  of  innocent  blood  shed  by  the  brethren ; 
for  they  were  a  set  of  murderers,  robbers  and  thieves." 

While  I  was  still  talking  with  him,  some  men  came  into  his 
house  to  see  him,  so  he  requested  me  to  keep  quiet  until  they 
left.  I  did  as  he  directed. 

As  soon  as  the  men  went  out,  I  continued  my  recital.  I  gave 
him  the  names  of  every  man  that  had  been  present  at  the  mas- 
sacre. I  told  him  who  killed  various  ones.  In  fact  I  gave  him 
•all  the  information  there  was  to  give. 

When  I  finished  talking  about  the  matter,  he "  said : 

"  This  is  the  most  unfortunate  affair  that  ever  befel  the  Church. 
I  am  afraid  of  treachery  among  the  brethren  that  were  there. 
If  any  one  tells  this  thing  so  that  it  will  become  public,  it  will 
work  us  great  injury.  I  want  you  to  understand  now,  that  you 
are  never  to  tell  this  again,  not  even  to  Heber  C.  Kimball.  It 
must  be  kept  a  secret  among  ourselves.  When  you  get  home,  I 

LEE'S  CONFESSION.  ,       25$ 

want  you  to  sit  down  and  write  a  long  letter,  and  give  me  an  ac- 
count of  the  affair,  charging  it  to  the  Indians.  •  You  sign  the 
letter  as  Farmer  to  the  Indians,  and  direct  it  to  me  as  Indian 
Agent.  I  can  then  make  use  of  such  a  letter  to  keep  off  all 
damaging  and  troublesome  enquiries." 

I  told  him  that  I  would  write  the  letter.  (I  kept  my  word  ; 
but,  as  an  evidence  of  his  treachery,  that  same  letter  that  he  or- 
dered me  to  write,  he  has  given  to  Attorney  Howard,  and  he  has- 
introduced  it  in  evidence  against  me  on  my  trial.) 

Brigham  Young  knew  when  he  got  that  letter  just  as  well  as 
I  did,  that  it  was  not  a  true  letter,  and  that  it  was  only  written 
according  to  his  orders  to  throw  the  public  pff  of  the  right  trail. 
He  knew  that  it  was  written  simply  to  cast  all  the  blame  on  the 
Indians,  and  to  protect  the  brethren.  In  writing  that  letter  I 
was  still  obeying  my  orders  and  earning  that  Celestial  reward 
that  had  been  promised  to  me. 

He  then  said,  "If  only  men  had  been  killed,  I  would  not  have 
cared  so  much ;  but  the  killing  of  the  women  and  children  is- 
the  sin  of  it.  I  suppose  the  men  were  a  hard  set,  but  it  is  hard 
to  kill  women  and  children  for  the  sins  of  the  men.  This  whole 
thing  stands  before  me  like  a  horrid  vision.  I  must  have  time 
to  reflect  upon  it." 

He  then  told  me  to  withdraw  and  call  next  day,  and  he  would 
give  me  an  answer.  I  said  to  him, 

"  President  Young,  the  people  all  felt,  and  I  know  that  I 
believed  I  was  obeying  orders,  and  acting  for  the  good  of  the 
Church,  and  in  strict  conformity  with  the  oaths  that  we  have  all 
taken  to  avenge  the  blood  of  the  Prophets.  You  must  either 
sustain  the  people  for  what  they  have  done,  or  you  must 
release  us  from  the  oaths  and  obligations  that  we  have  taken." 

The  only  reply  he  made  was, 

1 '  Go  now,  and  come  in  the  morning,  and  I  will  give  you  an 

I  went  to  see  him  again  in  the  morning.  When  I  went  in,  he 
he  seemed  quite  cheerful.  He  said, 

"I  have  made  that  matter  a  subject  of  prayer.  I  went  right 
to  Godt  with  it,  and  asked  Him  to  take  the  horrid  vision  from  my 
sight,  if  it  was  a  righteous  thing  that  my  people  had  done  in 
killing  those  people  at  the  Mountain  Meadows.  God  answered 
me,  and  at  once  the  vision  was  removed.  I  have  evidence  from 

:254        %  MORMOXISM  UNVEILED. 

God  that  He  has  overruled  it  all  for  good,  and  the  action  was  a 
righteous  one  and  well  intended. 

The  brethren  acted  from  pure  motives.  The  only  trouble  is 
they  acted  a  little  pretyiaturely ;  they  were  a  little  ahead  of  time. 
I  sustain  you  and  all  of  the  brethren  for  what  they  did.  All 
that  I  fear  is  treachery  on  the  part  of  some  one  who  took  a  part 
with  you,  but  we  will  look  to  that." 

I  was  again  cautioned  and  commanded  to  keep  the  whole 
thing  as  a  sacred  secret,  and  again  told  to  write  the  report  as 
Indian  Farmer,  laying  the  blame  on  the  Indians.  That  ended 
our  interview,  and  I  left  him,  and  soon  started  for  my  home  at 

Brigham  Young  was  then  satisfied  with  the  purity  of  my 
motives  in  acting  as  I  had  done  at  the  Mountain  Meadows.  Now 
he  is  doing  all  he  can  against  me,  but  I  know  it  is  nothing  but 
cowardice  that  has  made  him  turn  against  me  as  he  has  at  last. 

When  I  reported  my  interview  with  Young  to  Haight,  and 
gave  him  Brigham' s  answer,  he  was  well  pleased;  he  said  that 
I  had  done  well.  He  again  enjoined  secrecy,  and  said  it  must 
never  be  told. 

I  remember  a  circumstance  that  Haight  then  related  to  me 
about  Dan.  McFarland.  He  said: 

"  Dan  will  make  a  bully  warrior." 

I  said,  "  "Why  do  you  think  so?" 

"Well,"  said  he,  "  Dan  came  to  me  and  said,  '  You  must 
get  me  another  knife,  because  the  one  I  have  got  has  no  good 
stuff  in  it,  for  the  edge  turned  when  I  cut  a  fellow's  throat  that 
day  at  the  Meadows.  I  caught  one  of  the  devils  that  was  trying 
to  get  away,  and  when  I  cut  his  throat  it  took  all  the  edge  off  of 
my  knife.'  I  tell  you  that  boy  will  make  a  bully  warrior." 

I  said,   "  Haight,  I  don't  believe  you  have  any  conscience." 

He  laughed,  and  said,  "  Conscience  be  d — d,  I  don't  know 
what  the  word  means." 

I  thought  over  the  matter,  and  made  up  my  mind  to  write  the 
letter  to  Brigham  Young  and  lay  it  all  to  the  Indians,  so  as  to 
get  the  matter  off  of  my  mind.  I  then  wrote  the  letter  that  has 
been  used  in  the  trial.  It  was  as  follows : 



November  20th,  1857.  ) 

To  His  Excellency,  Gov.  B.  Young,  Ex-  Ojficio  and  Superintendent 

•    of  Indian  Affairs  ; 

DEAR  SIR:  My  report  under  date  May  llth,  1857,  relative  to 
the  Indians  over  whom  I  have  charge  as  farmer,  showed  a 
friendty  relation  between  them  and  the  whites,  which  doubtless 
would  have  continued  to  increase  had  not  the  white  mans  been 
the  first  aggressor,  as  was  the  case  with  Capt.  Fancher's  com- 
pany of  emigrants,  passing  through  to  California  about  the  mid- 
dle of  September  last,  on  Corn  Creek,  fifteen  miles  south  of  Fill- 
more  City,  Millard  County.  The  company  there  poisoned  the 
meat  of  an  ox,  which  they  gave  the  Pah  Vant  Indians  to  eat, 
causing  four  of  them  to  die  immediately,  besides  poisoning  a 
number  more.  The  company  also  poisoned  the  water  where 
they  encamped,  killing  the  cattle  of  the  settlers.  This  un- 
guided  policy,  planned  in  wickedness  by  this  company,  raised 
the  ire  of  the  Indians,  which  soon  spread  through  the  south- 
ern tribes,  firing  them  up  with  revenge  till  blood  was  in  their 
path,  and  as  the  breach,  according  to  their  tradition,  was  a  na- 
tional one,  consequent!}7  any  portion  of  the  nation  was  liable  to 
atone  for  that  offense. 

About  the  22d  of  September,  Capt.  Faneher  and  company  fell 
victims  to  their  wrath,  near  Mountain  Meadows  ;  their  cattle  and 
horses  were  shot  down  in  ever}'  direction,  their  wagons  and  prop- 
erty mostly  committed  to  the  flames.  Had  they  been  the  only 
ones  that  suffered  we  would  have  less  cause  of  complaint.  But  the 
following  company  of  near  the  same  size  had  many  of  their  men 
shot  down  near  Beaver  City,  and  had  it  not  been  for  the  inter- 
position of  the  citizens  at  that  place,  the  whole  company  would 
have  been  massacred  by  the  enraged  Pah  Vants.  From  this 
place  they  were  protected  by  military  force,  by  order  of  Col. 
W.  H.  Danie,  through  the  Territory,  besides  providing  the 
company  with  interpreters,  to  help  them  through  to  the  Los 
Vaagus.  On  the  Muddy,  some  three  to  five  hundred  Indians 
attacked  the  company,  while  traveling,  and  drove  off  several 
hundred  head  of  cattle,  telling  the  company  that  if  they  fired  a 
single  gun  that  they  would  kill  every  soul.  The  interpreters 
tried  to  regain  the  stock,  or  a  portion  of  them,  by  presents,  but 
in  vain.  The  Indians  told  them  to  mind  their  own  business,  or 


their  lives  would  not  be  safe.  Since  that  occurrence  no  com- 
pany has  been  able  to  pass  without  some  of  our  interpreters  to 
talk  and  explain  matters  to  the  Indians. 

Friendly  feelings  yet  remain  between  the  natives  and  settlers 
and  I  have  no  hesitancy  in  saying  that  it  will  increase  so  long  as 
we  treat  them  kindly,  and  deal  honestly  toward  them.  I  have 
been  blest  in  my  labors  the  last  year.  Much  grain  has  been 
raised  for  the  Indians. 

I  herewith  furnish  you  the  account  of  W.  H.  Dame,  of  Paro- 
wan,  for  cattle,  wagons,  etc. 

Furnished  for  the  benefit  of  the  Chief  Ovranup,  (ss.)  for 
Two  yoke  of  oxen,  $100  each,  one  wagon  and  chains 
$75.  "Total '. $  27500 

Two  cows  $30  each,  for  labor  $80, HO  00 

Total $     415  00' 

P.  K.  Smith,  Cedar  City,  Iron  County, 

For  two  yoke  cattle  $100  each,  and  Mo.  2  Weekses  Band...  $    200  00 

One  cow  $35,  do  one  wagon  $80,  total, 115  00 

Total $     31500 

Jacob  Hamblin's  account  for  the  benefit  of  Talse  Gobbeth 

Band,  Santa  Clara,  Washington  Co.,  (ss.) 
Two  yoke  of  cattle,  $100  each,  do  one  wagon,  two  chains, 

$100,  total '. $     300  Oft 

Two  cows  $35  each,  total 70  00 

Total $     370  00 

Henry  Barney's  account  for  the  benefit  of  Tennquiches 
Band,  Harmony,  (ss.) 

For  two  yoke  cattle  $100, $    200  00 

Do  one  wagon  $  1 00,  do  one  plough  $40,  total .. 1 40  00 

Do  four  cows  at  $35  each,  total 140  00 

For  labor  in  helping  to  secure  crops,  etc 40  00 

Total $     52000 

For  my  services  the  last  six  months,  and  for  provisions, 

clothing,  etc $     600  00 

Sum  Total $2,220  00 

From  the  above  report  you  will  see  that  the  wants  of  the 
Natives  have  increased  commensurate  with  their  experience  and 
practice  in  the  art  of  agriculture. 

With  sentiments  of  high  consideration, 

I  am  your  humble  servant, 


Farmer  to  Pah  Utes  Indians. 
Gov.  B.  Young,  Ex-offlcio  and  Superintendent  of  Indian  affairs. 


I  forwarded  that  letter,  and  thought  I  had  managed  the  affair 

I  put  in  the  expense  account  of  $2,220,  just  to  show  off,  and 
to  help  Brigham  Young  to  get  something  from  the  Govern- 
ment. It  was  the  way  his  Indian  farmers  all  did.  I  never  gave 
the  Indians  one  of  the  articles  named  in  the  letter.  No  one  of 
the  men  mentioned  had  ever  furnished  such  articles  to  the  In- 
dians, but  I  did  it  this  way  for  safety.  Brigham  Young  never 
spent  a  dollar  on  the  Indians  in  Utah,  while  he  was  Indian 
Agent.  The  only  money  he  ever  spent  on  the  Indians  was  when 
we  were  at  war  with  them.  Then  they  cost  us  some  money,  but 
not  much. 

Brigham  Young,  well  knowing  that  I  wrote  that  letter  just  por 
the  protection  of  the  brethren,  used  it  to  make  up  his  report  to 
the  Government  about  his  acts  as  Indian  Agent.  I  obeyed  his 
orders  -in  this,  as  I  did  the  orders  of  Haight  at  the  Mountain 
Meadows,  and  I  am  now  getting  my  pay  for  my  falsehood.  I 
acted  conscientiously  in  the  whole  matter,  and  have  nothing  to 
blame  myself  for,  except  being  so  silly  as  to  allow  myself  to  be 
duped  by  the  cowardly  wretches  who  are  now  seeking  safety  by 
hunting  me  to  the  death. 

The  following  winter  I  was  a  delegate  to  the  Constitutional 
Convention,  that  met  in  Salt  Lake  City  to  form  a  constitution, 
preparatory  to  the  application  of  Utah  for  admission  into  the 
Union.  I  attended  during  the  entire  session,  and  was  often  in 
company  with  Brigham  Young  at  his  house  and  elsewhere,  and 
he  treated  me  all  the  time  with  great  kindness  and  consideration. 

At  the  close  of  the  session  of  the  Convention,  I  was  directed 
by  Brigham  Young  to  take  charge  of  all  the  cattle,  and  other 
property  taken  from  the  emigrants,  and  take  care  of  it  for  the 
Indians.  I  did  as  I  was  ordered.  When  I  got  home  I  gathered 
up  about  two  hundred  head  of  cattle,  and  put  my  brand  on  them, 
and  I  gave  them  to  the  Indians,  as  they  needed  them,  or  rather 
when  they  demanded  them.  I  did  that  until  all  of  the  emigrant 
cattle  were  gone. 

This  thing  of  taking  care  of  that  property  was  an  unfortunate 
thing  for  me,  for  when  the  Indians  wanted  beef,  they  thought 
they  owned  everything  with  my  brand  on  it.  So  much  so,  that 
I  long  since  quit  branding  my  stock.  I  preferred  taking 
chances  of  leaving  them  unbranded,  for  every  thing  with  my 
brand  on  was  certain  to  be  taken  by  the  Indians.  I  know  that 


it  has  been  reported  that  the  emigrants  were  very  rich.  That  is 
a  mistake.  Their  only  wealth  consisted  in  cattle  and  their 
teams.  The  people  were  comfortably  dressed  in  Kentucky  jeans 
and  lindsey,  but  they  had  no  fine  clothing  that  I  ever  saw. 

They  had  but  few  watches.  I  never  owned  or  carried  one  of 
the  watches  taken  from  the  emigrants  in  my  life,  or  had  anything 
to  do  with  any  of  their  property,  except  to  take  care  of  the 
cattle  for  the  Indians,  as  ordered  to  do  by  Brigham  Young,  as 
I  have  before  stated  in  this  confession. 

There  is  another  falsehood  generally  believed  in  Utah,  espe- 
cially among  the  Mormons.  It  is  this.  It  has  generally  been 
reported  that  Brigham  Young  was  anxious  to  help  Judge  Cra- 
dlebaugh  arrest  all  the  guilty  parties.  There  is  not  one  word  of 
truth  in  the  whole  statement.  Brigham  Young  knew  the  name 
of  every  man  that  was  in  any  way  implicated  in  the  Mountain 
Meadows  Massacre.  He  knew  just  as  much  about  it  as'  I  did, 
except  that  he  did  not  see  it,  as  I  had  seen  it. 

If  Brigham  Young  had  wanted  one  man,  or  fifty  men,  or  five 
hundred  men  arrested,  all  he  would  have  had  to  do  would  have 
been  to  saj7  so,  and  they  would  have  been  arrested  instantly. 
There  was  no  escape  for  them  if  he  ordered  their  arrest. 
Every  man  who  knows  anything  of  affairs  in  Utah  at  that  time 
knows  this  is  so. 

It  is  true  that  Brigham  made  a  great  parade  at  the  time, 
and  talked  a  great  deal  about  bringing  the  guilty  parties  to 
justice,  but  he  did  not  mean  a  word  of  it — not  a  word.  He  did 
go  South  with  Cradlebaugh,  but  he  took  good  care  that  Cradle- 
baugh  caught  no  person  that  had  been  in  the  massacre. 

I  know  that  I  had  plenty  of  notice  of  their  coming,  and  so 
did  all  the  brethren.  It  was  one  of  Brigham  Young's  cunning 
dodges  to  blind  the  government.  That  this  is  true  I  can  prove 
by  the  statement  of  what  he  did  at  Cedar  City  while  out  on  his 
trip  with  Judge  Cradlebaugh  to  investigate  the  matter  and  ar- 
rest ( ?)  the  guilty  parties. 

Judge  Cradelbaugh  and  his  men  were  working  like  faithful 
men  to  find  out  all  about  it,  but  they  did  not  learn  very  much. 
True,  they  got  on  the  right  track,  but  could  not  learn  it  all,  for 
Brifhaui  Young  was  along  to  see  that  they  did  not  learn  the  facts. 

While  at  Cedar  City,  Brigham  preached  one  night,  but  none 
of  the  Judge's  party  heard  him.  In  his  sermon,  when  speaking 
of  the  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre,  he  said : 


"  Do  you  know  who  those  people  were  that  were  killed  at 
the  Mountain  Meadows?  I  will  tell  you  who  those  people  were. 
They  were  fathers,  mothers,  brothers,  sisters,  uncles,  aunts,  cous- 
ins and  children  of  those  who  killed  the  Saints,  and  drove  them 
from  Missouri,  and  afterwards  killed  our  Prophets  in  Carthage 
jail.  These  children  that  the  government  has  made  such  a  stir 
about,  were  gathered  up  by  the  goverment  and  carried  back  to 
Missouri,  to  St.  Louis,  and  letters  were  sent  to  their  relatives  to 
come  and  take  them;  but  their  relations  wrote  back  that  they 
did  not  want  them — that  they  were  the  children  of  thieves,  out- 
laws and  murderers,  and  they  would  not  take  them,  they  did 
not  wish  anything  to  do  with  them,  and  would  not  have  them 
around  their  houses.  Those  children  are  now  in  the  poor  house 
in  St.  Louis.  And  yet  after  all  this,  I  am  told  that  there  are 
many  of  the  brethren  who  are  willing  to  inform  upon  and  swear 
against  the  brethren  who  were  engaged  in  that  affair.  I  hope 
there  is  no  truth  in  this  report.  I  hope  there  is  no  such  person 
here,  under  the  sound  of  my  voice.  But  if  there  is,  I  will  tell 
you  my  opinion  of  you,  and  the  fact  so  far  as  your  fate  is  con- 
cerned. Unless  you  repent  at  once  of  that  unholy  intention, 
and  keep  the  secret  of  all  that  you  know,  you  will  die  a  dog's 
death,  and  be  damned,  and  go  to  hell.  I  do  not  want  to  hear 
of  any  more  treachery  among  my  people." 

These  words  of  Brigham  Young  gave  great  comfort  to  all  of 
us  who  were  out  in  the  woods  keeeping  out  of  the  way  of  the 
officers.  It  insured  our  safety  and  took  away  our  fears. 

There  has  been  all  sorts  of  reports  circulated  about  me,  and 
the  bigger  the  lie  that  was  told  the  more  readily  it  was  believed. 

I  have  told  in  this  statement  just  what  I  did  at  the  Moun- 
tain Meadows  Massacre.  The  evidence  of  Jacob  Hamblin  is  false 
in  toto.  Hamblin  lied  in  every  particular,  so  far  as  his  evidence 
related  to  me. 

It  is  my  fate  to  die  for  what  I  did ;  but  I  go  to  my  death  with 
.a  certainty  that  it  cannot  be  worse  than  my  life  has  been  for 
the  last  nineteen  years. 


As  I  have  been  in  some  respects  a  prominent  man  in  the  Mor- 
mom  Church,  the  public  may  expect  from  me  a  statement  of 
facts  concerning  other  crimes  and  other  things  besides  the  Moun- 
tain Meadows  Massacre.  I  do  know  some  facts  that  I  will  state. 

260  Moxjfoyisx  UNVEILED. 

I  could  give  many  things  that  would  throw  light  on  the  doings 
of  the  Church,  if  I  had  my  journals,  but  as  I  said,  nearly  all  of 
my  journals  have  been  made  way  with  by  Brighatn  Young ;  at 
least  I  delivered  them  to  him  and  never  could  get  them  again. 

I  have  delivered  to  my  Counsel,  Wm.  W.  Bishop,  such  jour- 
nals as  I  have,  and  shall  leave  the  one  that  I  am  now  keeping  in 
prison,  when  I  am  released  by  death  from  the  necessity  of  writ- 
ing down  my  thoughts  from  day  to  day,  and  he  can  make  such 
use  of  it  as  he  thinks  best. 

My  statement  of  outside  matters  must  be  brief,  but  such  as 
they  are,  the  public  can  rest  certain  of  this  thing,  they  are  true. 

As  many  people  think  that  Brigham  Young  cut  me  off  from 
the  Church,  and  refused  to  recognize  me  a  short  time  after  the 
massacre,  I  will  relate  a  circumstance  that  took  place  ten  years 
after  all  the  facts  were  known  by  him. 

In  1867  or  1868, 1  met  President  Brigham  Young  and  suite,  at 
Parowan,  seventy  miles  from  Washington,  the  place  where  a 
part  of  my  family  resided.  Lieut.  James  Pace  was  with  me. 
The  Prophet  said  to  me,  that  he  wanted  uncle  Jim  Pace  to  go 
with  me  and  prepare  dinner  for  him  and  his  suite  at  Washington, 
within  three  days.  We  were  to  go  by  my  herd  on  the  plains  and 
in  the  valle3Ts,  and  take  several  fat  kids  along  and  have  a  good 
dinner  for  them  by  the  time  they  got  there. 

His  will  was  our  pleasure.  We  rode  night  and  day,  and  felt 
thankful  that  we  were  worthy  of  'the  honor  of  serving  the 
Prophet  of  the  Living  God.  We  did  not  consider  the  toil  or 
loss  of  sleep  a  sacrifice,  in  such  a  laudable  undertaking. 

The  time  designated  for  dinner  was  one  o'clock.  The  com- 
pany arrived  at  eleven  o'clock,  two  hours  ahead  of  time.  The 
Prophet  drove  up  in  front  of  Bishop  Covington's  house,  on  the 
same  block  where  I  lived ;  he  halted  about  five  minutes  there, 
instead  of  driving  direct  to  my  house  according  to  the  previous 
arrangement.  Then  he  turned  his  carriage  around  and  got  out 
with  Amelia,  his  beloved,  and  went  into  the  Bishop's  house,  leav- 
ing his  suite  standing  in  the  streets.  The  peevish  old  man  felt 
his  dignity  trampled  on,  because  I  was  not  present  to  the  minute 
to  receive  him  with  an  escort,  to  welcome  and  do  homage  to 
him  upon  entering  the  town. 

As  soon  as  I  learned  of  his  arrival  I  hastened  to  make 

The  Prophet   heard  my  excuses,  and  said    his  family  and 


brethren,  all  except  himself  and  wife,  could  go  to  my  house  to 
clinner,  that  he  would  not  eat  until  about  two  o'clock. 

He  then  whispered  to  me  and  said,  "  Cut  me  a  chunk  off  the 
breast  of  the  turkey,  and  a  piece  of  the  loin  of  one  of  the  fat 
kids,  and  put  some  rich  gravy  over  it,  and  I  will  eat  it  at  2  P.  M." 

At  two  o'clock  I  again  made  his  will  my  pleasure,  and  car- 
ried his  dinner  to  him  as  requested,  when  he  did  me  the  honor 
of  eating  it.  The  rest  of  the  company  went  to  my  house  and 
took  dinner. 

Among  my  guests  that  day  were  George  A.  Smith,  Bishop 
Hunter,  John  Taylor,  W.  Woodruff,  several  of  the  Prophet's 
sons  and  daughters,  and  many  others.  At  dinner,  George  A. 
Smith  and  others  of  the  Twelve  Apostles  laughed  about  the  an- 
ger of  Brigham,  and  said  if  the  Old  Boss  had  not  got  miffed, 
they  would  have  lost  the  pleasure  of  eating  the  fat  turkey.  The 
party  enjoyed  themselves  very  much  that  day,  and  had  many  a 
laugh  over  the  Prophet's  anger  robbing  him  of  an  excellent 

I  had  part  of  my  family  at  Washington,  but  I  also  had  quite  a 
family  still  living  at  Harmony,  where  several  of  my  wives  were 

The  next  morning  the  Prophet  came  to  me  and  asked  me  if  I 
was  going  to  Harmony  that  night.  I  told  him  I  did  intend 

"I  wish  you  would  go,"  said  he,  "and  prepare  dinner  for 

He  then  gave  me  full  instructions  what  to  prepare  for  din- 
ner, and  how  he  wanted  his  meat  cooked,  and  said  the  company 
would  be  at  my  house  in  Harmony  the  next  day  at  one  o'clock, 
P.  M. 

I  at  once  proceeded  to  obey  his  instructions.  I  rode  to  Har- 
mony through  a  hard  rain-storm,  and  I  confess  I  was  proud  of 
my  position.  I  then  esteemed  it  a  great  honor  to  have  the  privi- 
lege of  entertaing  the  greatest  man  living ,  the  Prophet  of  the  Lord. 

My  entire  family  at  Harmony  were  up  all  night,  cooking  and 
making  ready  to  feed  and  serve  the  Lord's  anointed,  and  bis 

I  killed  beeves,  sheep,  goats,  turkeys,  geese,  ducks  and  chick- 
ens, all  of  which  were  prepared  according  to  instructions,  and 
were  eaten  by  Brigham  Young  and  his  party  the  next  day. 

Prompt  to  time,  the  Prophet,  the  President  of  the  Church 


and  his  suite,  and  an  escort  on  horseback,  came  into  the  Fort, 
There  were  seventy- three  carriages,  besides  the  escort.  I  enter- 
tained the  entire  party,  giving  them  dinner,  supper  and  break- 

In  1858  Governor  Young  called  upon  me  to  go  and  locate  a^ 
company  of  cotton  growers,  of  which  Joseph  Ham  was  captain. 
This  company  was  sent  out  by  Governor  Young  and  the 
leading  men  of  Salt  Lake  City,  to  test  the  growing  of  cotton  on 
the  Santa  Clara  and  Rio  Virgin  bottoms.  In  obedience  to  coun- 
sel, I  located  the  company  at  the  mouth  of  the  Santa  Clara  River, 
about  four  miles  south  from  where  St.  George  now  stands. 

In  1859  or  1860,  the  first  trip  that  ex-Gov.  Young  took  from 
Salt  Lake  City  to  Southern  Utah,  he  went  by  way  of  Pinto,  Moun- 
tain .Meadows,  Santa  Clara  and  Washington.  I  was  then  at 
Washington,  building  a  grist  mill,  some  two  miles  west  of  the 
town,  when  he  came  along. 

I  was  sitting  on  a  rock  about  thirty  steps  from  the  road.  His 
carriage  was  in  the  lead,  as  was  usual  with  him  when  traveling. 
When  he  came  opposite  where  I  was  sitting,  he  halted  and  called 
me  to  his  carriage,  and  bid  me  get  in.  I  did  so.  He  seemed  glad 
to  see  me,  and  asked  where  I  lived.  I  told  him  I  lived  on  the 
same  block  that  Bishop  Covington  did,  that  he  would  pass  my 
door  in  going  to  the  Bishop's,  as  I  then  thought  he  would  put 
up  with  the  Bishop,  and  not  with  a  private  person. 

In  crossing  the  creek,  on  the  way  into  town,  the  sand  was 
heavy.  I  went  to  jump  out  and  walk.  He  objected,  saying, 

"Sit  still.     You  are  of  more  value  than  horse-flesh  yet." 

When  we  neared  my  residence,  he  said : 

" Is  this  where  yoa  live,  John?  " 

I  said,  "It  is,"  pointing  at  the  same  time  to  the  east  end  of 
the  block,  and  said,  "  That  is  where  the  Bishop  lives." 

The  old  man  made  no  reply,  but  continued  on.     Then  he  said, 

"You  have  a  nice  place  here.  I  have  a  notion  to  stop  with 

I  said,  "You  are  always  welcome  to  my  house." 

Then  he  said  to  the  company,  which  consisted,  I  think,  of  sev- 
enty-three carriages,  "Some  of  you  had  better  scatter  round 
among  the  brethren." 

About  half  the  company  did  so.  The  rest,  with  the  Prophet, 
stayed  at  my  house. 

The  next  day,  the  whole   company  went  on  to  Tokerville, 


twenty  miles  from  my  residence.  I  went  with  them  to  that 
place.  In  the  evening  all  went  to  St.  George,  and  held  a  two- 
days'  meeting.  At  the  close  of  the  meeting,  the  Prophet  called 
me  to  the  stand,  and  said, 

"John,  I  will  be  at  New  Harmony  on  Wednesday  next.'* 
(By  way  of  explanation,  I  will  here  say,  the  town  of  Harmony 
changed  its  location  three  times.  The  first  fort  was  built  at  the 
crossing  of  the  north  fork  of  Ash  Creek,  in  1852,  and  was  aban- 
doned in  1853,  during  the  war  with  the  Ute  Indians.  In  1855, 
a  new  site  was  selected,  four  miles  north-west  of  Harmony 
No.  1,  and  an  adobe  fort  was  built  two  hundred  feet  square,  and 
twenty-two  feet  high.  In  I860,  Harmony  No.  2  was  demolished 
by  a  rain-storm,  which  continued  twenty-eight  days  without 
stopping.  At  once  after  that,  a  site  was  selected  at  the  head  of 
Ash  Creek,  where  a  new  settlement  was  started,  which  was 
called  New  Harmony.)  "I  want  you  to  go  and  notify  the 
Saints,  and  have  a  Bowery  built,  and  prepare  for  our  reception.'* 

Jas.  H.  Imday  was  then  President  of  that  place,  and  was  at 
the  meeting.  I  here  again  tried  to  make  the  will  of  the  Prophet 
my  pleasure.  I  traveled  all  night,  and  reported  the  orders  of 
the  Prophet  to  the  people. 

.Great  preparations  were  made  for  his  reception.  A  commit- 
tee of  arrangements  was  appointed,  also  a  committee  to  wait  on 
his  Honor.  Also  an  escort  of  fifteen  men  was  selected  to  ac- 
company this  committee.  They  went  out  fifteen  miles,  where 
they  met  the  Prophet  and  his  followers  and  made  a  report  of  our 
proceedings.  He  thanked  them,  and  said,  "I  am  going  to 
stop  with  Brother  John  D.,"  as  he  often  called  me.  I  took  no 
part  in  the  proceedings  except  to  report  the  will  of  the  Prophet 
to  the  people.  I  went  on  horseback  alone,  and  met  the  Presi- 
dent, a  he  is  now  called.  I  met  him  a  mile  or  more  outside  of 
the  town.  As  I  rode  up  he  halted,  and  said, 

"  John,  I  am  going  to  stop  with  you." 

I  replied,  "You  know  you  are  always  welcome." 

He  then  drove  to  the  center  of  the  town  and  halted ;  then 
he  said, 

"John,  where  do  you  live?" 

I  pointed  across  the  field  about  half  a  mile. 

Said  he,  "  Have  they  fenced  you  out?  You  take  the  lead,  and 
we  will  break  a  road  to  your  house." 

It  being  his  will,  we  started  and  went  to  my  house,  sixteen 


carriages  going  along  with  us.  Quite  a  number  of  the  Presi- 
dent's company  had  gone  by  Kanab,  to  Cedar  City,  to  hold 
meetings  in  the  settlements  they  would  go  through.  The  ar- 
rangements of  the  committee  were  treated  with  indifference,  if 
not  contempt  by  the  President  and  his  party.  All  the  company 
but  one  carriage  went  to  my  house,  that  one  stopped  at  James 
Pace's.  During  their  stay  at  my  house  all  were  friendly. 
Brigham  Young  asked  me  to  go  with  them  to  Cedar  City,  which 
I  did. 

In  1870,  sometime  in  the  Fall,  I  went  from  Parowan,  by  way 
of  Panguich,  up  the  Severe  River  with  Brigham  Young,  on  a 
trip  to  the  Pareah  country.  On  this  trip  I  was  appointed  a  road 
commissioner,  with  ten  men  to  go  ahead,  view  out  and  prepare 
the  road  for  the  President  and  "his  company  to  travel  over. 

While  at  Upper  Kanab,  I  had  a  private  interview  with  the 
Prophet,  concerning  my  future  destination.  Brigham  said  he 
thought  I  had  met  with  opposition  and  hardships  enough  to 
entitle  me  to  have  rest  the  balance  of  my  life.  That  I  had  best 
leave  Harmony,  and  settle  in  some  of  those  good  places  farther 
South ;  build  up  a  home  and  gather  strength  around  me,  and 
after  a  while  we  would  cross  over  into  Arizona  Territorj^  near 
the  San  Francisco  Mountains,  and  there  establish  the  order  of 
Enoch,  or  United  Order.  We  were  to  take  a  portable  steam 
saw  mill  to  cut  lumber  with  which  to  build  up  the  Southern  set- 
tlements, and  I  was  to  run  the  mill  in  connection  with  Bishop 
L.  Stewart.  This  I  then  considered  an  additional  honor  shown 
me  by  the  Prophet. 

From  Upper  Kanab,  I  was  sent  across  the  mountains  to  Low- 
er Kanab,  to  Bishop  Stewart's,  to  have  him  carry  supplies  to  the 
Prophet  and  company.  I  had  to  travel  sixty  miles  without  a 
trail,  but  I  was  glad  of  a  chance  to  perform  any  duty  that 
would  please  the  Prophet.  I  again  met  the  company,  and  went 
with  the  party  to  Tokerville,  where  I  closed  arrangements  with 
President  Young  about  the  saw  mill.  All  was  understood  and 
agreed  upon,  and  we  parted  in  a  very  friendly  manner. 

About  two  weeks  after  leaving  President  Young  and  party  at 
Tokerville,  I  was  notified  that  I  had  been  suspended  from  the 

The  following  Spring,  I  visited  the  Prophet  at  St.  George,  and 
asked  him  why  they  had  dealt  so  rashly  with  me,  without  allow- 
ing me  a  chance  to  speak  for  myself ;  why  they  had  waited  seven- 


teen  years  and  then  cut  me  off;  why  I  was  not  cut  off  at  once  if 
what  I  had  done  was  evil. 

He  replied,  "  I  never  knew  the  facts  until  lately." 

I  said,  "President  Young,  you  know  that  is  not  true.  You 
know  I  told  the  whole  story  to  you  a  short  time  after  it  happened, 
and  gave  you  a  full  statement  of  everything  connected  witli  the 
massacre,  and  I  then  put  more  on  myself  than  I  was  to  blame 
for ;  and  if  your  late  informants  have  told  you  a  story  different 
from  the  one  that  I  gave  you  soon  after  the  massacre,  when  I 
reported  the  facts  to  you  by  order  of  Major  Haight,  they  have 
lied  -like  h — 1,  and  you  know  it.  I  did  nothing  designedly 
wrong  on  that  occasion.  I  tried  to  save  that  company  from  de- 
struction after  they  were  attacked,  but  I  was  overruled  and 
forced  to  do  all  that  I  did  do.  I  have  had  my  name  cast  out 
as  evil,  but  I  know  I  have  a  reward  awaiting  me  in  Heaven.  I 
have  suffered  in  silence,  and  have  dene  so  to  protect  the  breth- 
ren who  committed  the  deed.  I  have  borne  the  imputation  of 
this  crime  long  enough,  and  demand  a  rehearing.  I  demand 
that  all  the  parties  concerned  be  brought  forward  and  forced  by 
you  to  shoulder  their  own  sins.  I  am  willing  to  bear  mine,  but 
I  will  not  submit  to  carry  all  the  blame  for  those  who  commit- 
ted the  massacre. 

The  reply  he  made  was  this : 

"Be  a  man,  and  not  a  baby.  I  am  your  friend,  and  not  your 
enemy.  You  shall  have  a  rehearing.  Go  up  to  the  office  and 
see  Brother  Erastus  Snow,  and  arrange  the  time  for  the  hearing." 

I  did  so.  We  arranged  the  time  of  meeting.  It  was  agreed 
that  if  the  telegraph  wires  were  working,  all  parties  interested 
were  to  be  notified  of  the  meeting,  and  required  to  be  present 
at  St.  George,  Utah,  on  the  following  Wednesday,  at  2,  P.  M. 

All  parties  agreed  to  this,  and  after  talking  over  the  whole 
thing,  I  again  parted  with  President  Young,  in  a  very  friendly 

I  went  to  Washington  and  staid  at  my  house  and  with  my 
family  there.  The  next  morning  I  started  for  Harmony,  to  visit 
my  family  there,  and  make  arrangements  for  the  rehearing  that 
was  to  me  of  the  greatest  of  importance.  I  then  considered 
that  if  I  was  cut  off  from  the  Church  I  had  better  be  dead  ;  that 
out  of  the  Church  I  could  find  no  jo}rs  worth  living  for. 

Soon  after  I  left  Washington,  Erastus  Snow,  one  of  the  twelve 
apostles,  arrived  at  my  house  and  asked  for  me.  My  famil}-  told 


him  that  I  had  gone  to  Harmony  to  arrange  for  the  new  hearing 
and  trial  before  the  Church  authorities.  He  appeared  to  be  much 
disappointed  at  not  meeting  me,  and  told  my  family  that  Brig- 
ham  Young  had  reconsidered  the  matter,  and  there  would  be  no 
rehearing  or  investigation  ;  that  the  order  cutting  me  off  from  the 
Church  would  stand ;  that  he  would  send  a  letter  to  me  which 
would  explain  all  the  matter,  and  that  the  letter  would  reach 
Harmony  about  as  soon  as  I  did. 

On  the  next  Tuesday  night  an  anonymous  letter  was  left  at  my 
house  by  one  of  the  sons  of  Erastus  Snow,  with  orders  to  hand 
it  to  me.  The  letter  read  as  follows : 

"  JOHN  D.  LEE,  of  Washington : 

"  Dear  Sir:  If  you  will  consult  your  own  interest,  and  that  of 
those  that  would  be  your  friends,  you  will  not  press  an  investi- 
gation at  this  time,  as  it  will  only  serve  to  implicate  those  that 
would  be  your  friends,  and  cause  them  to  suffer  with,  or  inform 
upon  you.  Our  advice  is  to  make  yourself  scarce,  and  keep  out 
of  the  way." 

There  was  no  signature  to  the  letter,  but  I  knew  it  came  from 
apostle  Snow,  and  was  written  by  orders  of  Brigham  Young. 

When  I  read  the  letter  I  knew  I  had  nothing  to  hope  for  from 
the  Church,  and  my  grief  was  as  great  as  I  could  bear.  To  add 
to  my  troubles,  Brigham  Young  sent  word  to  my  wives  that  they 
were  all  divorced  from  me  and  could  leave  me,  if  they  wished  to 
do  so.  This  was  the  greatest  trouble  that  I  ever  had  in  my  life,, 
for  I  loved  all  my  wives. 

As  the  result  of  Brigham's  advice,  eleven  of  my  wives  deserted 
me,  and  have  never  lived  with  me  since  that  time.  I  gave  them 
all  a  fair  share  of  the  property  that  I  then  owned.  I  afterwards 
lost  my  large  ferry-boat  at  my  ferry  on  the  Colorado  River. 
Brigham  Young  was  anxious  to  have  the  ferry  kept  in  good  con- 
dition for  passing  the  river,  for  he  did  not  know  what  hour  he 
might  need  it,  so  he  sent  parties  who  put  in  another  boat,  which 
I  afterwards  paid  him  for. 

I  visited  Brigham  Young  at  his  house  in  St.  George  in  1874r 
and  never  was  received  in  a  more  friendly  manner.  He  could 
always  appear  the  saint  when  he  was  meditating  treachery  to  one 
of  his  people.  He  then  promised  to  restore  me  to  membership 
in  a  short  time. 

Soon  afterwards  I  was  arrested  (on  or  about  the  9th  of  No- 


vember,  1874),  and  taken  to  Fort  Cameron,  in  Beaver  County, 
Utah  Territory,  and  placed  in  prison  there.  A  few  days  after 
my  arrest  I  was  visited  in  prison  by  General  George  A.  Smith, 
Orson  Hyde,  Erastus  Snow,  A.  F.  McDonald,  and  many  other 
leaders  of  the  Church.  They  each  and  all  told  me  to  stand  to 
my  integrity,  and  all  would  come  out  right  in  the  end. 

At  this  time  the  Prophet  was  stopping  with  Bishop  Murdock, 
in  Beaver  City.  My  wife  Rachel  went  at  night  to  see  him  and 
have  a  talk  about  my  case.  He  received  her  with  the  utmost 
kindness,  saying: 

"Sister  Rachel,  are  you  standing  by  Brother  John?" 

"Yes,  sir,  I  am,"  was  her  reply. 

"That  is  right,"  said  he.  "God  bless  you  for  it.  Tell 
Brother  John  to  stand  to  his  integrity  to  the  end,  and  not  a  hair 
of  his  head  shall  be  harmed." 

This  kindness  was  continued  by  the  Churchmen  until  I  was 
released  on  bail,  in  May,  1875. 

And  I  will  here  say,  I  did  not  believe,  until  I  was  released  on 
bail,  that  any  member  of  the  Church  would  desert  me.  I  had 
every  confidence  that  Brigham  Young  would  save  me  at  last.  I 
knew  then,  as  I  know  now,  that  he  had  the  power,  and  I  thought 
he  had  the  will,  to  save  me  harmless.  No  man  can  be  convicted 
in  Utah  if  Brigham  Young  determines  to  save  him,  and  I  had  his 
solemn  word  that  I  should  not  suffer.  But  now,  when  it  is  too 
late  for  me  to  help  myself,  I  find  I  am  selected  by  him  as  a  vic- 
tim to  be  offered  up  to  keep  the  Gentiles  from  prosecuting  any 
of  his  pets  for  murder  or  other  crimes. 

When  I  gained  my  freedom  after  nearly  two  years  of  imprison- 
ment, I  found  that  some  of  the  good  Saints  had  been  tampering 
with  my  wife  Emma,  to  get  the  ferry  out  of  my  hands.  The 
"One-Eyed  Pirate,"  as  the  Tribune  calls  him,  told  her  that  I 
was  not  a  brother  in  the  Church,  and  had  tried  to  alienate  her 
affections  from  me. 

Up  to  this  time  I  had  always  tried  to  make  the  will  of  the 
Priesthood  my  pleasure,  but  this  last  act  of  their  kindness  to- 
wards a  brother  who  had  been  in  prison  for  nearly  two  years, 
began  to  shake  my  faith  in  the  anointed  of  the  Lord. 

The  loss  of  the  ferry — for  I  virtually  lost  control  of  it  by  their 
treachery — was  a  great  blow  to  me  in  my  destitute  condition.  I 
then  felt  that  the  time  was  near  approaching  when  they  would 


sacrifice  and  sell  me  to  screen  their  pets  and  cover  up  their  own 

When  I  came  before  the  court,  on  the  llth  day  of  September, 
1876,  I  was  met  with  the  same  hypocritical  smile  and  whisper, 
as  on  other  occasions,  and  told  to  "  Stand  to  your  integrity. 
Let  the  will  of  the  Lord's  anointed  be  your  pleasure.  My  mouth 
is  sealed,  but  I  know  you  will  come  out  all  right." 

So  they  talked  to  me,  the  leaders  of  the  Church  and  its  prom- 
inent men,  all  telling  me  the  same  thing,  while  at  the  same  time 
those  low,  deceitful,  treacherous,  cowardly,  dastardly  sycophants 
and  serfs  had  combined  to  fasten  the  rope  around  my  neck.  No 
doubt  they  thought  they  could  lull  me  to  sleep,  until  they  could 
kill  and  make  a  scape-goat  of  me,  to  atone  for  the  sins  of  the 
whole  Church,  which  fully  endorsed  this  treacherous  treatment, 
as  has  been  established  by  the  oaths  given  by  the  false, 
treacherous,  sneaking  witnesses  who  came  on  the  stand  by  order 
and  command  of  the  Church,  to  consummate  the  vile  scheme 
formed  for  my  destruction 

This  last  act  of  their  charitable  kindness  let  me  out  with  them. 
All  that  I  have  made  by  making  their  will  my  pleasure,  and 
yielding  myself  to  their  wishes,  is  the  loss  of  my  reputation,  my 
fortune,  my  near  and  dear  supposed  friends,  my  salvation,  and 
my  all.  My  life  now  hangs  on  a  single  thread. 

But  is  there  no  help  for  the  widow's  son?  I  can  no  longer  ex- 
pect help  from  the  Church,  or  those  of  the  Mormon  faith.  If 
I  escape  execution,  it  will  be  through  the  clemency  of  the 
nation,  many  of  whose  noble  sons  will  dislike  to  see  me  sacri- 
ficed in  this  way.  I  acknowledge  that  I  have  been  slow  to  lis- 
ten to  the  advice  of  friends,  who  have  warned  me  of  the  danger 
and  treachery  that  awaited  me.  Yet  I  ask  pardon  for  all  the  in- 
gratitude with  which  I  received  their  advice.  When  the  people 
consider  that  I  was  ever  taught  to  look  upon  treachery  with  hor- 
ror, and  that  I  have  never  permitted  one  nerve  or  fibre  of  this 
old  frame  to  weaken  or  give  way,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that 
I  have  been  cut  loose,  and  cast  off  and  sacrificed  by  those  who 
from,  their  own  stand-point,  and  according  to  their  own  theor}', 
should  have  stood  by  me  to  the  last,  they  may  have  some  com- 
passion for  me.  Perhaps  all  is  for  the  best. 

As  it  now  stands,  I  feel  free  from  all  the  obligations  that  have 
hitherto  sealed  my  mouth,  so  far  as  the  deeds  of  which  I  stand 
accused  are  concerned.  I  now  consider  myself  at  liberty  to, 


and  I  now  will  state  all  the  facts  in  the  case,  with  which  I  am 
familiar.  I  am  no  traitor ;  I  am  only  acting  just  to  my  own  rep- 
utation. I  am  not  sorry  for  the  stand  which  I  have  taken,  or 
my  long  silence. 


Jacob  Hamblin,  commonly  called  "  Dirty  Fingered  Jake," 
when  called  as  a  witness,  gave  as  a  reason  for  his  long  silence, 
concerning  what  he  says  I  told  him,  that  he  was  waiting  for  the 
right  time  to  come,  and  he  thought  it  had  come  now. 

This  reminds  me  of  a  circumstance  that  was  related  by  Joseph 
Knight  and  John  Lay,  who  were  missionaries  to  the  Indians  un- 
der President  Jacob  Hamblin,  at  his  headquarters  at  Santa  Clara 
Fort,  in  1859.  In  the  Fall  of  1859  two  young  men,  on  their 
way  to  California,  stopped  at  the  fort  to  recruit  their  jaded  ani- 
mals, and  expecting  that  while  doing  so  they  might  be  so  fortu- 
nate as  to  meet  with  some  train  of  people  going  to  the  same 
place,  so  they  would  have  company  to  San  Bernardino,  the 
young  men  staid  at  the  fort  some  two  months,  daily  expecting  a 
company  to  pass  that  way,  but  still  no  one  came.  Hamblin  as- 
sured them  that  they  could  go  through  the  country  with  perfect 
safety.  At  the  same  time  he  had  his  plans  laid  to  take  their 
lives  as  soon  as  they  started.  The  Indians  around  the  fort  want- 
ed to  kill  the  men  at  once,  but  Hamblin  objected,  and  told  the 
Indians  to  wait  until  the  men  got  out  on  the  desert — that  if  they 
would  wait  until  the  right  time  came  they  might  then  kill  the 

At  last  these  young  men  started  from  the  fort.  Hamblin  had 
told  the  Indians  that  the  right  time  had  come,  and  that  he  want- 
ed the  Indians  to  ambush  themselves  at  a  point  agreed  on  near 
the  desert,  where  the  men  could  be  safely  killed.  The  Indians 
obeyed  Hamblin's  orders,  and  as  the  men  came  to  the  place  of 
ambush  the  Indians  fired  upon  them,  and  succeeded  in  killing 
one  of  the  men.  The  other  returned  the  fire,  and  shot  one  of 
Hamblin's  right-hand  men  or  pet  Indians  through  the  hand  ;  this 
Indian's  name  was  Queets,  which  means  left-handed.  By  wound- 
ing this  Indian  he  managed  to  escape,  and  returned  to  the  fort, 
but  doing  so  with  the  loss  of  the  pack  animals,  provisions  and 
the  riding  animal  of  his  partner  that  lay  dead  upon  the  desert. 
The  survivor  stayed  with  Mr.  Judd  for  a  few  days,  when  a  com- 


pany  of  emigrants  passed  that  way,  and  with  them  he  succeeded 
in  making  his  escape  from  the  death  that  Harnblin  had  planned 
for  him. 

Hamblin  was  at  Salt  Lake  City  when  the  Mountain  Meadows 
Massacre  took  place,  and  he  pretends  to  have  great  sympathy 
with  and  sorrow  for  their  fate.  I  can  only  judge  what  he 
would  have  done  towards  the  massacre  if  he  had  been  at  home 
by  what  he  did  to  help  the  next  train  that  passed  that  way. 
When  this  train  was  passing  through  the  settlements,  Hamblin 
made  arrangements  with  Nephi  Johnson  and  his  other  interpre- 
ters (all  of  them  were  tools  for  Hamblin)  how  and  where  to  re- 
lieve this  company  of  the  large  herd  of  stock  that  belonged  to 
the  train.  They  had  a  large  number  of  horses  and  cattle,  more 
than  five  hundred  head  in  all.  Several  interpreters  were  sent  on 
ahead  of  the  train.  One  of  these  was  Ira  Hatch.  They  were 
ordered  by  Hamblin  to  prepare  the  Indians  to  make  a  raid  upon 
the  stock,  and  these  men  and  Indians  obeyed  orders  then  the 
same  as  my  brethren  and  I  did  with  the  first  company.  About 
10  o'clock,  A.  M.,  just  after  the  train  had  crossed  the  Muddy,  or 
a  few  miles  beyond  it  on  the  desert,  at  the  time  and  place  as 
agreed  on  by  Hamblin,  and  just  as  he  had  ordered  it  to  be  done, 
over  one  hundred  Indians  made  a  dash  on  the  train  and  drove 
all  the  stock  off  to  the  Muddy. 

The  emigrants  fired  at  the  Indians,  but  the  treacherous  Nephi 
.Johnson  was  acting  as  a  guide,  interpreter  and  friend  to  the 
whites ;  in  fact  that  was  how  he  came  to  be  along  with  them — 
was  to  pretend  to  aid  them  and  protect  them,  from  Indians,  but 
in  fact  he  was  there  by  order  of  Hamblin,  to  make  the  Indian 
raid  on  the  stock  a  success. 

Nephi  Johnson  rushed  out  and  told  the  emigrants  that  if  they 
valued  their  own  lives  they  must  not  fire  again,  for  if  they  did  so 
he  could  not  protect  them  from  the  cruelty  of  the  savages — that 
the  Indians  would  return  and  massacre  them  the  same  as  they 
did  the  emigrants  at  Mountain  Meadows. 

The  acting  of  Johnson  and  the  other  interpreters  and  spies 
that  were  with  him,  was  so  good  that  after  a  consultation  the 
emigrants  decided  to  follow  his  advice.  The  final  conclusion 
was,  that  as  Johnson  was  friendly  with  the  Indians,  and  could 
talk  their  language,  he  should  go  and  see  the  Indians,  and  try  and 
get  the  stock  back. 

The  emigrants  waited  on  the  desert,  and  Johnson  went  to  the 

LEE'S  C03FESSIOX.  271 

Indians,  or  pretended  to  do  so.  After  a  few  hours  he  returned, 
find  reported  that  the  Indians  were  very  hostile,  and  threatened 
"to  attack  the  train  at  once ;  that  he  was  afraid  he  could  not  pre- 
vent it,  and  the  only  chance  for  the  emigrants  was  in  their  in- 
stant departure  ;  that  as  the  emigrants  would  be  gaining  a  place 
of  safety,  he  would,  at  the  risk  of  his  life,  make  an  effort  to  keep 
the  Indians  back,  and  pacify  them.  Also  that  he  would  report 
to  Hamblin  as  soon  as  possible,  and  raise  a  force  of  men  at  the 
fort,  and  get  back  the  stock,  if  it  could  be  done,  and  would  write 
to  the  company,  giving  an  account  of  his  success,  so  they  would 
get  his  letter  at  San  Bernardino,  and  if  he  recovered  the  stock, 
the  emigrants  could  send  back  a  party  to  receive  it,  and  drive  it 
to  California. 

Under  the  circumstances,  the  company  adopted  his  plan,  and 
he  left  them  on  the  desert,  with  all  their  loose  stock  gone ;  but 
the  danger  was  over,  for  the  stock  was  what  Hamblin  and  John- 
son had  been  working  for. 

Johnson  returned  and  ordered  the  Indians  to  drive  the  stock  to 
the  Clara.  The  Indians  acted  like  good  Mormons,  and  obeyed 
orders.  Hamblin  gave  them  a  few  head  of  cattle  for  their  ser- 
vices in  aiding  him  to  steal  the  drove.  The  remainder  of  the  cattle 
and  horses  the  secret  keeper,  Hamblin,  took  charge  of  for  the 
benefit  of  the  Mission.  As  the  cattle  became  fat  enough  for 
beef,  they  were  sold  or  butchered  for  the  use  of  the  settlers.  Some 
were  traded  to  other  settlements  for  sheep  and  other  articles. 
In  this  way  Hamblin  used  all  of  the  stock  stolen  from  the 
Dukes  Company,  except  some  forty  head. 

In  order  to  keep  up  an  appearance  of  honesty  and  fairness, 
Hamblin  wrote  a  letter  to  Capt.  Dukes,  in  the  fall  of  1860, 
saying  that  he  had  recovered  a  small  portion  of  the  company's 
stock  from  the  Indians,  by  giving  them  presents,  and  that  some 
of  the  stock  had  been  traded  to  the  settlers  by  the  Indians. 
This  letter  was  to  be  confirmed  by  all  the  missionaries  and  set- 
tlers, when  the  stock  was  to  be  called  for  by  the  former  owners. 
No  one  was  to  give  information  that  would  lead  to  the  dis- 
covery of  the  stock. 

This  was  always  the  way  when  the  Mormons  committed  a  crime 
against  the  Gentiles.  All  the  brethren  were  to  help  'keep  the 
secret.  Some  of  the  Dukes  Company  came  back  to  Hamblin's 
for  their  cattle  and  horses,  and  after  three  weeks'  diligent 
search  among  the  secret  keepers,  they  succeeded  in  getting  about 


forty  head  of  cattle,  and  returned  with  them  to  California. 
Several  of  the  settlers  were  severely  censured  for  giving  the  little 
information  that  was  given,  which  led  to  the  recovery  of  that 
small  portion  of  the  large  herd  of  cattle  and  horses  that  the 
Saints,  Hamblin  and  Johnson,  had  stolen  by  the  help  of  the 
Indians,  and  the  efforts  of  the  brethren. 


In  the  Winter  of  1857-8  John  Weston  took  an  Irishman,  that 
had  been  stopping  with  him  as  his  guest  several  days,  on  a  hunt, 
and  when  he  got  him  in  the  brush  and  timber  four  miles  west 
of  Cedar  City,  he  cut  the  throat  of  the  Irishman  and  left  the 
body  unburied.  A  son  of  Western  said  that  his  father  received 
orders  to  kill  the  man  because  Isaac  C.  Haight  considered  him  a 


Near  the  same  time,  Philip  Klingensmith  laid  in  ambush  to  kill 
Robert  Keyes  (now  a  resident  of  Beaver  City,  Utah  Territory), 
while  Keyes  was  irrigating  in  his  field.  Klingensmith  wanted  to 
kill  Keyes  because  Keyes  refused  to  give  false  testimony  when 
requested  to  do  so  by  Klingensmith,  who  was  then  Bishop  of  the 
Church.  When  Keyes  came  within  a  few  feet  of  the  hiding 
place  of  Klingensmith,  this  "holy"  man  raised  his  gun  and  took 
deliberate  aim  at  Keyes'  heart,  but  the  cap  bursted  without  ex- 
ploding the  powder,  and  so  Keyes  escaped. 

After  the  Massacre,  when  Haight  learned  that  Brigham  Young 
did  not  fully  approve  of  the  deed,  he  then  sought  to  screen  him- 
self, Higbee  and  Klingensmith,  by  putting  me  between  them  and 
danger.  He  reported  that  I  was  the  big  captain  that  planned, 
led  and  executed  it ;  that  the  honor  of  such  a  noble  deed  for  the 
avenging  of  the  blood  of  the  Prophets  would  lead  to  honor,  im- 
mortality and  eternal  life  in  the  kingdom  of  God ;  that  I  must 
stand  to  my  integrity ;  that  no  man  would  ever  be  hurt.  In  this 
way  it  soon  became  a  settled  fact  that  I  was  the  actual  butcher 
and  leader  in  that  awful  affair.  Year  by  year  that  story  has  gained 
ground  and  strength,  until  I  am  now  held  responsible,  and  am 
to  die,  to  save  the  Church.  However,  this  is  a  regular  trick  of 
the  Church  leaders — use  a  man  as  long  as  he  is  of  any  use,  and 
then  throw  him  aside. 

As  I  have  stated  in  other  places  in  my  writings,  the  people  in 
Utah  who  professed  the  Mormon  religion  were  at  and  for  some 
time  before  the  massacre  full  of  wild-fire  and  fanatical  zeal,  anx- 


ious  to  do  something  to  build  up  the  Kingdom  of  God  on  earth 
and  to  waste  away  the  enemies  of  the  Mormon  religion.  At  that 
time  it  was  a  common  thing  for  small  bands  of  people  on 
their  way  from  California  to  pass  through  by  way  of  Cedar 
City  on  their  journey.  Many  of  these  people  were  killed 
simply  because  they  were  Gentiles.  When  a  Gentile  came 
into  a  town  he  was  looked  upon  with  suspicion,  and  most  of  the 
people  considered  every  stranger  a  spy  from  the  United  States 
army.  The  killing  of  Gentiles  was  considered  a  means  of  grace 
and  a  virtuous  deed. 

I  remember  an  affair  that  transpired  at  the  old  distillery  in 
Cedar  City,  just  before  the  massacre.  I  was  informed  of  it  when 
I  went  to  Cedar  City,  by  the  chief  men  there,  and  I  may  say  I 
know  it  to  be  true.  The  facts  are  as  follows :  Three  men  came 
to  Cedar  City  one  evening ;  they  were  poor,  and  much  worn  by 
their  long  journey.  They  were  on  their  way  to  California.  They 
were  so  poor  and  destitute  that  the  authorities  considered  they 
were  dangerous  men,  so  they  reported  that  they  were  spies  from 
Johnston's  army,  and  ordered  the  brethren  to  devise  a  plan  to 
put  them  out  of  the  way,  decently  and  in  order.  That  the  will 
of  God,  as  made  known  through  Haight  and  Klingensmith,  might 
be  done,  these  helpless  men  were  coaxed  to  go  to  the  old  distil- 
lery and  take  a  drink.  They  went  in  company  with  John  M. 
Higbee,  John  Weston,  James  Haslem  and  Wm.  C.  Stewart,  and 
I  think  another  man,  but  if  so  I  have  forgotten  his  name.  The 
party  drank  considerable,  and  when  the  emigrants  got  under  the 
influence  of  the  whisky  the  brethren  attacked  them,  and  knocked 
the  brains  out  of  two  of  the  men  with  the  king-bolt  of  a  wag- 
on. The  third  man  was  very  powerful  and  muscular ;  he  fought 
valiantly  for  his  life,  but  after  a  brief  struggle  he  was  over- 
come and  killed.  They  were  buried  near  Cedar  City. 

This  deed  was  sustained  by  all  the  people  there.  The  parties 
who  did  the  killing  were  pointed  out  as  true,  valiant  men,  zeal- 
ous defenders  of  the  faith,  and  as  fine  examples  for  the  young 
men  to  pattern  after. 


Sometime  in  the  Fall  of  1857,   not  long  after  the  Mountain 

Meadows  Massacre,  it  was  decided   by  the   authorities  at  Salt 

Lake  City  that  Lieut.  Tobin  must  be  killed.     Tobin  had  left  n, 

train  at  Salt  Lake,  joined  the  Church  there,  and  afterwards  niar- 



ried  a  daughter  of  General  Charles  C.  Rich,  one  of  the  Twelve 
Apostles.  Tobin  was  quite  a  smart  man,  and  soon  after  his  mar- 
riage he  was  sent  to  England  on  a  mission. 

While  preaching  in  England,  it  was  reported  that  he  had 
committed  adultery  there,  and  he  was  ordered  home.  On 
his  arrival  in  Salt  Lake  he  was  cut  off  from  the  Church,  and  I 
think  his  wife  was  taken  from  him  by  order  of  the  Church.  He 
made  several  efforts  to  get  out  of  the  Territory.  Finally  he  got 
with  a  company  en-route  for  California,  and  left  Salt  Lake,  in- 
tending to  go  to  California,  to  escape  the  persecutions  that  were 
being  forced  upon  him  by  the  Church  authorities.  After  he  had 
been  gone  a  few  days  the  "  Destroying  Angels  "  were  put  on  his 
trail,  with  orders  to  kill  him  without  fail  before  they  returned. 
Two  desperate  fanatics  were  selected,  who  knew  nothing  but  to 
obey  orders.  Joel  White  and  John  Willis  were  the  parties. 

They  started  on  the  trail,  determined  to  kill  Tobin  when  they 
could  find  him.  They  had  no  cause  to  find  fault  with  him ;  he 
had  never  injured  them,  but  he  had  in  some  way  fallen  under 
the  ban  of  the  Church,  and  his  death  had  been  decreed.  These 
vile  tools  of  the  Church  leaders  were  keeping  their  oaths  of 
obedience  to  the  Priesthood,  and  were  as  willing  to  shed  blood  at 
the  command  of  the  Prophet  or  any  of  the  apostles,  as  ever 
Inquisitor  was  to  apply  the  rack  to  an  offending  heretic  in  the 
dungeons  of  the  Inquisition.  In  fact  Mormonism  is  Jesuitism 
refined  and  perfected. 

White  and  Willis  overtook  the  company  that  Lieut.  Tobin  was 
traveling  with,  at  a  point  at  or  near  the  crossing  of  the  Magott- 
sey.  They  found  where  he  was  sleeping,  and  going  right 
up  to  him  as  he  lay  on  the  ground,  rolled  up  in  his  blanket,  they 
shot  him  several  times,  and  at  last  thinking  him  dead,  they  con- 
cluded to  shoot  him  once  more  to  make  certain  that  he  would 
not  escape.  So  they  put  a  pistol  right  up  against  his  eye,  and 
fired ;  the  ball  put  out  his  eye,  but  did  not  kill  him. 

The  "angels"  made  their  escape  and  returned  to  Salt  Lake 
City,  and  reported  that  their  orders  were  obeyed. 

Severely  wounded  as  he  was,  Lieut.  Tobin  recovered,  and  was 
when  I  last  heard  from  him  in  the  Union  army. 


At  Parowan,  in  1355  or  1856,  there  was  a  case  that  for  a 
while  shook  my  faith  in  the  Church,  but  I  soon  got  over  it  and 


was  like  others,  satisfied  that  all  was  done  for  the  glory  of  God, 
but  that  I  was  so  sinful  that  I  could  not  understand  it. 

There  was  a  man  living  there  by  the  name  of  Robert  Gillespie. 
He  was  a  member  of  the  Church,  had  one  wife,  and  owned  a  fine 
property.  Gillespie  wanted  to  be  sealed  to  his  sister-in-law,  but 
for  some  reason  his  request  was  denied.  .  He  had  known  of 
others  obtaining  wives  by  committing  adultery  first  and  then 
being  sealed  to  avoid  scandal.  So  he  tried  it,  and  then  went  to 
the  apostle  George  A.  Smith,  and  again  asked  to  be  sealed  to 
the  woman ;  but  George  A.  had  a  religious  fit  on  him,  or  some- 
thing else,  so  he  refused  to  seal  him  or  let  him  be  sealed,  giving 
as  his  reason  for  refusing,  that  Gillespie  had  exercised  the  rights 
of  sealing  without  first  obtaining  orders  to  do  so.  A  warrant 
was  issued  and  Gillespie  arrested  and  placed  under  guard,  he 
was  also  sued  in  the  Probate  Court,  before  James  Lewis,  Pro- 
bate Judge,  and  a  heavy  judgment  was  rendered  against  him, 
and  all  his  property  was  sold  to  pay  the  fine  and  costs.  The 
money  was  put  into  the  Church  fund  and  Gillespie  was  broken 
up  entirely  and  forced  to  leave  the  Territory  in  a  destitute 

Many  such  cases  came  under  my  observation.  I  have  known 
the  Church  to  act  in  this  way  and  break  up  and  destroy  many, 
very  many  men.  The  Church  was  then,  and  in  that  locality, 
supreme.  None  could  safely  defy  or  disobey  it.  The  Church  au- 
thorities used  the  laws  of  the  land,  the  laws  of  the  Church,  and 
Danites  and  "Angels  "  to  enforce  their  orders,  and  rid  the  coun- 
try of  those  who  were  distasteful  to  the  leaders.  And  I  say  as 
a  fact  that  there  was  no  escape  for  any  one  that  the  leaders  of 
the  Church  in  Southern  Utah  selected  as  a  victim. 


The  fate  of  old  man  Braffett,  of  Parowan,  was  a  peculiar  one, 
and  as  it  afterwards  led  me  into  trouble,  I  will  give  the  story 
briefly,  to  show  the  power  of  the  Priesthood  and  the  peculiarity 
of  the  people  there. 

Old  man  Braffett  lived  at  Parowan,  and  in  the  Fall  of  1855  a 
man  by  the  name  of  Woodward  came  to  Braffett's  house  and 
stopped  there  to  recruit  his  teams  before  crossing  the  deserts. 
Woodward  had  two  wives.  He  had  lived  in  Nauvoo,  and  while 
there  had  been  architect  for  the  Nauvoo  House.  While  Wood- 
ward and  his  family  were  stopping  with  Braffett,  one  of  his  wives 


concluded  that  she  would  be  damned  if  she  went  to  live  in  Cali- 
fornia— leaving  the  land  of  the  Saints — and  she  asked  to  be  di- 
vorced from  Woodward  and  sealed  to  Braffett.  At  first  Braffett 
refused  to  take  her,  but  she  was  a  likely  and  healthy  woman. 
She  made  love  to  the  old  man  in  earnest,  and  finally  induced 
him  to  commit  adultery  with  her.  The  parties  were  discovered  in 
the  act  by  old  Mrs.  Braffett,  and  she  was  not  so  firm  in  the  faith 
as  to  permit  her  husband  to  enjoy  himself  without  making  a  fuss 
about  it.  The  authorities  were  informed  of  Braffett's  transgres- 
sions, and  he  was  arrested  and  taken  before  the  Probate  Judge 

*  O 

and  tried  for  the  sin  of  adultery.  He  made  a  bill  of  sale  of  some 
of  his  property  to  me,  for  which  I  paid  him  before  his  trial. 
After  hearing  the  case,  the  Probate  Judge  fined  him  $1,000,  and 
ordered  him  to  be  imprisoned  until  the  fine  and  costs  were  paid. 
Ezra  Curtis,  the  then  marshal  at  Parowan,  took  all  of  Braffett' s 
property  that  could  be  found  and  sold  it  for  the  purpose  of  pay- 
ing the  fine,  but  the  large  amount  of  property  which  was  taken 
was  sold  for  a  small  sum,  for  the  brethren  would  not  bid  much 
for  property  taken  from  one  who  had  broken  his  covenants. 

Being  unable  to  pay  the  fine,  the  old  man  was  ordered  to  be 
taken  to  Salt  Lake  City,  to  be  imprisoned  in  the  prison  there. 
I  was  selected  to  take  him  to  Salt  Lake.  I  took  the  old  man 
there,  and  after  many  days  spent  in  working  with  Brigham 
Young  and  his  apostles,  I  succeeded  in  securing  a  pardon  from 
Brigham  for  the  old  man. 

Braffett  was  put  to  work  at  Salt  Lake  by  Brigham  Young. 
He  dared  not  return  home  at  that  time.  His  property  was  all 
gone,  and  he  was  ruined. 

The  part  I  took  to  befriend  the  old  man  made  several  of  the 
brethren  at  Parowan  mad  at  me,  and  they  swore  they  would  have 
revenge  against  me  for  interfering  where  I  was  not  interested. 
I  staid  in  Salt  Lake  some  time,  and  when  I  started  home  there 
were  quite  a  number  of  people  along.  All  the  teams  were 
heavily  loaded ;  the  roads  were  bad,  and  our  teams  weak.  We 
all  had  to  walk  much  of  the  time.  After  we  had  passed  the  Se- 
vere River  the  road  was  very  bad.  My  team  was  the  best  in  the 
whole  company,  and  I  frequently  let  some  of  the  women  who 
were  in  the  party  ride  in  my  wagon.  One  evening,  just  about 
dark,  I  was  asked  by  a  young  woman,  by  the  name  of  Alexan- 
der, to  let  her  ride,  as  she  was  very  tired  walking.  I  had  her 
get  in  the  wagon  with  my  wife  Rachel,  and  she  rode  there  until 




we  camped  for  the  night.  I  got  into  the  wagon  after  dark  and 
drove  the  team.  "We  had  ridden  along  this  way  an  hour  or  so, 
when  Rachel  said  she  was  going  to  ride  a  while  in  the  next 
wagon,  which  was  driven  by  rny  son-in-law,  Mr.  Dalton.  Soon 
after  Rachel  got  out  of  the  wagon,  a  couple  of  my  enemies  rode 
by.  I  spoke  to  them,  and  they  rode  on.  As  soon  as  these  men 
reached  the  camp  they  reported  that  I  had  been  taking  improper 
privileges  with  Miss  Alexander.  I  was  at  once  told  to  consider 
myself  under  arrest,  and  that  as  soon  as  we  reached  Parowan  I 
would  be  tried  by  the  Council  for  violating  my  covenants.  I 
was  surprised  and  grieved  at  the  charge,  for  I  was  innocent,  and 
the  young  woman  was  a  very  fine  and  virtuous  woman,  and  as 
God  is  soon  to  judge  me,  I  declare  I  never  knew  of  her  commit- 
ting any  sin.  But  she  had  to  suffer  slander  upon  her  good  name 
simply  because  she  was  befriended  by  me. 

When  we  reached  Parowan  there  was  a  meeting  called  by  the 
Priesthood  to  try  me.  This  Council  was  composed  of  the  Pres- 
ident of  that  Stake  of  Zion  and  his  two  Counselors,  the  High 
Council,  the  City  Council  and  the  leading  men  of  Parowan.  It 
was  a  general  meeting  of  the  authorities,  Church  and  civil,  at 
Parowan.  The  meeting  was  held  in  a  chamber  that  was  used 
for  a  prayer  circle.  It  was  called  a  circle  room,  because  the 
people  met  there  to  transact  private  business  and  to  hold  prayer 
in  a  circle,  which  was  done  in  this  way.  All  the  brethren  would 
kneel  in  a  circle  around  the  room,  near  enough  to  each  other  for 
their  arms  to  touch,  so  that  the  influence  would  be  more  power- 
ful. When  the  meeting  was  called  to  order  all  the  lights  were 
put  out,  and  I  was  taken  into  the  room  and  placed  on  trial.  The 
charge  was  stated  to  me  and  I  was  ordered  to  confess  my  guilt. 
I  told  them  I  was  innocent ;  that  I  had  committed  no  crime — in 
fact  had  not  thought  of  wrong.  I  told  the  truth,  just  as  it  was. 
I  was  then  ordered  to  stand  one  side. 

The  young  woman  was  then  brought  into  the  room,  and  as 
she  came  in  a  pistol  was  placed  to  my  head  and  I  was  told  to 
keep  silent.  She  was  questioned  and  threatened  at  great  length, 
but  not  all  the  threats  that  they  could  use  would  induce  her  to 
tell  a  falsehood.  She  insisted  that  t  was  entirely  innocent. 

Next  her  father,  an  old  man,  was  introduced  and  questioned. 
He  told  the  Council  that  he  had  diligently  enquired  into  the 
matter,  and  believed  I  was  innocent. 

Neither  the  young  woman  nor  her  father  knew  who  was  in  the 


room.  All  they  knew  was  that  they  were  being  examined  be- 
fore the  secret  tribunal  of  Utah,  and  that  a  false  oath  in  that 
place  would  ensure  their  death. 

When  the  evidence  had  been  received  and  the  witnesses  re- 
tired ;  the  candles  were  again  lighted.  Then  speeches  were  made 
by  most  of  the  men  present,  and  every  one  but  two  spoke  in 
favor  of  my  conviction.  Without  taking  a  vote  the  meeting  ad- 
journed, or  rather  left  that  place  and  went  somewhere  else  to 
consult.  I  was  left  in  the  dark,  the  house  locked  and  guards  placed 
around  the  building.  I  was  told  that  my  fate  would  soon  be 
decided,  and  I  would  then  be  informed  what  it  was  to  be.  I 
knew  so  well  the  manner  of  dealing  in  such  cases  that  1  expect- 
ed to  be  assassinated  in  the  dark,  but  for  some  reason  it  was  not 

Next  morning  some  food  was  brought  to  me,  but  I  was  still 
kept  a  prisoner  and  refused  the  liberty  of  consulting  with  any 
friends  or  any  of  my  family. 

Late  that  day  I  looked  out  of  the  window  of  the  chamber 
where  I  was  confined,  and  saw  a  man  by  the  name  of  John  Steel. 
He  was  first  Counselor  to  the  President  of  that  Stake  of  Zion.  I 
.called  to  him  and  asked  him  to  secure  my  freedom.  After  stat- 
ing the  case  to  him  he  promised  to  see  what  could  be  done  for 
me,  and  went  off.  Through  his  exertions  I  was  soon  released. 
I  was  told  to  go  home  and  hold  myself  subject  to  orders — that 
my  case  was  not  yet  decided. 

I  went  home,  but  for  months  I  expected  to  be  assassinated 
every  day,  for  it  was  the  usual  course  of  the  authorities  to  send 
an  "  Angel "  after  all  men  who  were  charged  or  suspected  of 
having  violated  their  covenants. 

Nothing  further  was  done  about  the  case,  but  it  was  held  over 
me  as  a  means  of  forcing  me  to  live  in  accordance  with  the 
wishes  of  the  Priesthood  and  to  prevent  me  from  again  inter- 
fering with  the  Church  authorities  when  they  saw  fit  to  destroy 
a  man,  as  they  destroj'ed  old  man  Braffett,  and  I  believe  it  did 
have  the  effect  to  make  me  more  careful  who  I  befriended. 

In  1854  (I  think  that  was  the  3Tear)  there  was  a  young  man,  a 
Gentile,  working  in  Parowan.  He  was  quiet  and  orderly,  but 
was  courting  some  of  the  girls.  He  was  notified  to  quit,  and  let 
the  girls  alone,  but  he  still  kept  going  to  see  some  of  them. 
This  was  contrary  to  orders.  No  Gentile  was  at  that  time 
allowed  to  keep  company  with  or  visit  any  Mormon  girl  or 


woman.  The  authorities  decided  to  have  the  young  man  killed, 
so  they  called  two  of  Bishop  Dames'  Destroying  Angels,  Barney 
Carter  and  old  man  Gould,  and  told  them  to  take  that  cursed 
young  Gentile  '.'  over  the  rim  of  the  basin."  That  was  a  term  used 
by  the  people  when  they  killed  a  person. 

The  destroying  angels  made  some  excuse  to  induce  the  young 
man  to  go  with  them  on  an  excursion,  and  when  they  got  close 
to  Shirts'  mill,  near  Harmony,  they  killed  him,  and  left  his  body 
in  the  brush. 

The  Indians  found  the  body,  and  reported  the  facts  to  me 
soon  afterwards.  I  was  not  at  home  that  night,  but  Carter  and 
Gould  went  to  my  house  and  staid  there  all  night.  Rachel 
asked  them  where  they  had  been.  They  told  her  they  had  been 
on  a  mission  to  take  a  young  man,  a  Gentile,  over  the  rim  of  the 
basin,  and  Carter  showed  her  his  sword,  which  was  all  bloody, 
and  he  said  he  used  that  to  help  the  Gentile  over  the  edge. 
Rachel  knew  what  they  meant  when  they  spoke  of  sending  him 
"over  the  rim  of  the  basin."  It  was  at  that  time  a  common 
thing  to  see  parties  going  out  of  Cedar  City  and  Harmony,  with 
suspected  Gentiles,  to  send  them  "over  the  rim  of  the  basin," 
and  the  Gentiles  were  always  killed. 

This  practice  was  supported  by  all  the  people,  and  every 
thing  of  that  kind  was  done  by  orders  from  the  Council,  or  by 
orders  from  some  of  the  Priesthood.  When  a  Danite  or  a  de- 
stroying angel  was  placed  on  a  man's  track,  that  man  died,  cer- 
tain, unless  some  providential  act  saved  him,  as  in  Tobin's  case ; 
he  was  saved  because  the  "angels"  believed  he  was  dead. 

The  Mormons  nearly  all,  and  I  think  every  one  of  them  in 
Utah,  previous  to  the  massacre  at  Mountain  Meadows,  believed  in 
blood  atonement.  It  was  taught  by  the  leaders  and  believed  by 
the  people  that  the  Priesthood  were  inspired  and  could  not  give 
a  wrong  order.  It  was  the  belief  of  all  that  I  ever  heard  talk  of 
these  things — and  I  have  been  with  the  Church  since  the  dark 
days  in  Jackson  County  —  that  the  authority  that  ordered  a 
murder  committed,  was  the  only  responsible  party,  that  the  man 
who  did  the  killing  was  only  an  instrument,  working  by  command 
of  a  superior,  and  hence  could  have  no  ill  will  against  the  person 
killed,  but  was  only  acting  by  authority  and  committed  no 
wrong.  In  other  words,  if  Brigham  Young  or  any  of  his  apos- 
tles, or  any  of  the  Priesthood,  gave  an  order  to  a  man,  the  act 
was  the  act  of  the  one  giving  the  order,  and  the  man  doing  the 


act  was  only  an  instrument  of  the  person  commanding — just 
as  much  of  an  instrument  as  the  knife  that  was  used  to  cut  the 
throat  of  the  victim.  This  being  the  belief  of  all  good  Mormons, 
it  is  easily  understood  why  the  orders  of  the  Priesthood  were  so 
blindly  obeyed  by  the  people. 

Another  circumstance  came  to  my  knowledge  soon  after  it  was 
done  that  will  speak  for  itself.  Not  far  from  the  time  of  the 
Mountain  Meadows  massacre,  there  was  an  emigrant  who 
claimed  to  be  a  Mormon,  but  I  never  knew  whether  he  was  one 
or  not,  that  worked  a  number  of  months  for  Captain  Jacob 
Huffine,  at  Parowan.  This  man  wanted  his  pay ;  it  was  not  con- 
venient to  pay  him ;  he  insisted  on  being  paid,  but  not  getting 
his  wages,  he  determined  to  leave  there.  He  started  away  from 
the  settlement  at  Summit,  about  seven  miles  from  Parowan. 
The  Indians  of  Parowan  were  sent  for  and  ordered  to  overtake 
and  kill  the  man.  They  did  so,  and  shot  him  full  of  arrows. 
The  man  called  to  the  Indians  and  told  them  that  he  was  a 
Mormon  and  they  must  not  kill  him. 

The  Indians  replied  by  saying, 

"We  know  you,  you  are  no  Mormon,  you  are  a  Mericat;  the 
Mormons  told  us  to  kill  you." 

They  then  beat  his  head  with  rocks,  and  cut  his  throat,  then 
went  back  to  Parowan  and  reported  what  they  had  done. 

I  was  told  all  about  this  by  the  Indians.  But  I  never  enquired 
into  the  facts,  for  I  then  believed,  and  still  have  reasons  to  think 
the  man  was  killed  by  authority.  He  had  offended  in  some  way, 
and  his  death  was  like  that  of  many  others,  the  result  of  orders 
from  the  Priesthood. 


William  Laney,  of  Harrisburg,  Utah  Territory,  had  formed 
the  acquaintance  of  the  famil}'  of  Aden  while  on  a  mission  to 
Tennessee,  and  he  was  saved  from  a  mob  who  threatened  his 
death  because  he  was  a  Mormon  preacher.  When  Fan- 
cher's  train  reached  Parowan,  Mr.  Lanej^  met  young  Aden  and 
recognized  him  as  the  son  of  the  man  who  had  saved  his  life. 
Aden  told  him  that  he  was  hungry,  that  he  and  his  comrades 
had  been  unable  to  purchase  supplies  from  the  Mormons  ever 
since  they  left  Salt  Lake  City,  and  that  there  appeared  to  be  a 
conspiracy  that  had  been  formed  against  that  train  by  which  the 
Mormons  had  agreed  to  starve  the  emigrants.  Laney  took 


young  Aden  to  his  house,  gave  him  his  supper,  and  let  him  sleep 
there  that  night.  The  next  day  Laney  was  accused  by  leading 
men  with  being  unfaithful  to  his  obligations.  They  said  he  had 
supported  the  enemies  of  the  Church  and  given  aid  and  comfort 
to  one  whose  hands  were  still  red  with  the  blood  of  the  Proph- 
ets. A  few  nights  after  that  the  Destroying  Angels,  who  were 
doing  the  bidding  of  Bishop  Dame,  were  ordered  to  kill  William 
Laney  to  save  him  from  his  sins,  he  having  violated  his  endow- 
ment oath  and  furnished  food  to  a  man  who  had  been  declared 
an  outlaw  by  the  Mormon  Church.  The  "Angels"  were  com- 
manded by  Barney  Carter,  a  son-in-law  of  Win.  H.  Dame,  who 
now  lives  in  Los  Angeles  County,  California.  The  Angels 
called  Laney  out  of  the  house,  saying  that  Bishop  Dame  wished 
to  see  him.  As  Laney  passed  through  the  gate  into  the  street, 
he  was  struck  across  the  back  of  the  head  with  a  large  club  by 
Barney  Carter.  His  skull  was  fractured  somewhat  and  for  many 
months  Laney  lay  at  the  point  of  death,  and  his  mind  still  shows 
the  effect  of  the  injury  he  then  received,  for  his  brain  has  never 
quite  settled  since.  I  have  frequently  talked  with  Laney  about 
this  matter,  but  as  he  was  fully  initiated  into  the  mj-steries  of 
the  Church,  he  knows  that  he  will  yet  be  killed  if  his  life  can  be 
taken  with  safety,  if  he  make  public  the  facts  connected  with  the 
conspiracy  to  take  his  life.  He  is  still  strong  in  the  Mormon 
faith,  and  almost  believes  that  Dame  had  the  right  to  have  him 
killed.  At  the  time  Carter  attempted  to  take  the  life  of  Laney, 
the  Mormon  Church  was  under  the  blaze  of  the  reformation,  and 
punishment  by  death  was  the  penalty  for  refusing  to  obey  the 
orders  of  the  Priesthood. 

One  of  the  objects  of  the  reformation  was  to  place  the  Priest- 
hood in  possession  of  every  secret  act  and  crime  that  had  been 
committed  by  a  man  of  the  Church.  These  secrets  were  ob- 
tained in  this  way :  a  meeting  would  be  called ;  some  Church 
leader  would  make  a  speech,  defining  the  duties  that  the  people 
owed  to  the  Priesthood,  and  instructing  the  people  why  it  was 
necessary  that  the  Priesthood  should  control  the  entire  acts  of 
the  people,  and  it  was  preached  that  to  keep  back  any  fact  from 
the  knowledge  of  the  Priesthood  was  an  unpardonable  sin.  After 
one  or  more  such  discourses,  the  people  were  called  upon  by 
name,  commanded  to  rise  from  their  seats,  and  standing  in  the 
midst  of  the  congregation,  to  publicly  confess  all  their  sins.  If 
the  confession  was  not  full  and  complete,  it  was  also  made  the 


duty  of  the  members  of  the  Church,  or  any  one  of  them  who 
knew  that  the  party  confessing  had  committed  a  crime,  which  he 
had  not  divulged,  it  was  then  to  be  made  public  by  the  party 
knowing  the  same.  Unless  the  party  then  confessed,  a  charge 
was  preferred  against  him  or  her  for  a  violation  of  covenants,, 
and  unless  full  confession  and  repentance  immediately  followed, 
the  sinful  member  was  to  be  slain  for  the  remission  of  his  sins, 
it  being  taught  by  the  leaders  and  believed  by  the  people  that 
the  right  thing  to  do  with  a  sinner  who  did  not  repent  and  obey 
the  Council,  was  to  take  the  life  of  the  offending  party,  and 
thus  save  his  everlasting  soul.  This  was  called  "  Blood  Atone- 
ment." The  members  who  fully  confessed  their  sins  were  again 
admitted  into  the  Church  and  rebaptized,  they  taking  new  cove- 
nants to  obey  any  and  all  orders  of  the  Priesthood,  and  to  re- 
fuse all  manner  of  assistance,  friendship  or  communication  with 
those  who  refused  a  strict  obedience  to  the  authorities  of  the 

The  most  deadly  sin  among  the  people  was  adultery,  and 
many  men  were  killed  in  Utah  for  that  crime. 

Rosmos  Anderson  was  a  Danish  man  who  had  come  to  Utah 
with  his  family  to  receive  the  benefits  arising  from  an  association 
with  the  "Latter-Day  Saints."  He  had  married  a  widow  lady 
somewhat  older  than  himself,  and  she  had  a  daughter  that  was 
fully  grown  at  the  time  of  the  reformation.  The  girl  was  very 
anxious  to  be  sealed  to  her  step-father,  and  Anderson  was- 
equally  anxious  to  take  her  for  a  second  wife,  but  as  she  was  a 
fine-looking  girl,  Klingensmith  desired  her  to  marry  him,  and 
she  refused.  At  one  of  the  meetings  during  the  reformation 
Anderson  and  his  step-daughter  confessed  that  they  had  com- 
mitted adultery,  believing  when  they  did  so  that  Brigham  Young 
would  allow  them  to  marry  when  he  learned  the  facts.  Their 
confession  being  full,  they  were  rebaptized  and  received  into  full 
membership.  They  were  then  placed  under  covenant  that  if  they 
again  committed  adultery,  Anderson  should  suffer  death.  Soon 
after  this  a  charge  was  laid  against  Anderson  before  the  Council, 
accusing  him  of  adultery  with  his  step-daughter.  This  Council 
was  composed  of  Klingensmith  and  his  two  counselors ;  it  was 
the  Bishop's  Council.  Without  giving  Anderson  any  chance  to 
defend  himself  or  make  a  statement,  the  Council  voted  that 
Anderson  must  die  for  violating  his  covenants.  Kliugensmith 
went  to  Anderson  and  notified  him  that  the  orders  were  that  he 


must  die  by  having  Ms  throat  cut,  so  that  the  running  of  7u's 
blood  would  atone  for  his  sins.  Anderson,  being  a  firm  believer 
in  the  doctrines  and  teachings  of  the  Mormon  Church,  made  no 
objections,  but  asked  for  half  a  day  to  prepare  for  death.  His 
request  was  granted.  His  wife  was  ordered  to  prepare  a  suit  of 
clean  clothing,  in  which  to  have  her  husband  buried,  and  was 
informed  that  he  was  to  be  killed  for  his  sins,  she  being  directed 
to  tell  those  who  should  enquire  after  her  husband  that  he  had 
gone  to  California. 

Klingensmith,  James  Haslem,  Daniel  McFarland  and  John  M. 
Higbee  dug  a  grave  in  the  field  near  Cedar  City,  and  that  night, 
about  12  o'clock,  went  to  Anderson's  house  and  ordered  him  to 
make  ready  to  obey  the  Council.  Anderson  got  up,  dressed 
himself,  bid  his  family  good-bye,  and  without  a  word  of  remon- 
strance accompanied  those  that  he  believed  were  carrying  out 
the  will  of  the  "Almighty  God."  They  went  to  the  place  where 
the  grave  was  prepared ;  Anderson  knelt  upon  the  side  of  the 
grave  and  prayed.  Klingensmith  and  his  company  then  cuti 
Anderson's  throat  from  ear  to  ear  and  held  him  so  that  his  blood 
ran  into  the  grave. 

As  soon  as  he  was  dead  they  dressed  him  in  his  clean  clothes, 
threw  him  into  the  grave  and  buried  him.  They  then  carried 
his  bloody  clothing  back  to  his  family,  and  gave  them  to  his  wife 
to  wash,  when  she  was  again  instructed  to  say  that  her  husband 
was  in  California.  She  obeyed  their  orders. 

No  move  of  that  kind  was  made  at  Cedar  City,  unless  it  was 
done  by  order  of  the  "Council"  or  of  the  "High  Council." 
I  was  at  once  informed  of  Anderson's  death,  because  at  that 
time  I  possessed  the  confidence  of  all  the  people,  who  would 
talk  to  me  confidentially,  and  give  me  the  particulars  of  all 
crimes  committed  by  order  of  the  Church.  Anderson  was  killed 
just  before  the  Mountain  Meadows  massacre.  The  killing  of 
Anderson  was  then  considered  a  religious  duty  and  a  just  act. 
It  was  justified  by  all  the  people,  for  they  were  bound  by  the 
same  covenants,  and  the  least  word  of  objection  to  thus  treat- 
ing the  man  who  had  broken  his  covenant  would  have  brought 
the  same  fate  upon  the  person  who  was  so  foolish  as  to  raise 
his  voice  against  any  act  committed  by  order  of  the  Church 

Brigham  Young  knew  very  well  that  I  was  not  a  man  who 
would  willingly  take  life,  and  therefore  I  was  not  ordered  to  do 


his  bloody  work.  I  never  took  part  in  any  killing  that  was  de- 
sired or  ordered  by  the  Church,  except  the  part  I  took  in  the 
Mountain  Meadows  Massacre.  I  was  well  known  by  all  the 
members  of  the  Church  as  one  that  stood  high  in  the  confidence 
of  Brigham  Young,  and  that  I  was  close-mouthed  and  reliable. 
By  this  means  I  was  usually  informed  of  the  facts  in  every  case 
where  violence  was  used  in  the  section  of  country  where  I  re- 
sided. I  knew  of  many  men  being  killed  in  Nauvoo  by  the  Dan- 
ites.  It  was  then  the  rule  that  all  the  enemies  of  Joseph  Smith 
should  be  killed,  and  I  know  of  many  a  man  who  was  quietly  put 
out  of  the  way  by  the  orders  of  Joseph  and  his  Apostles  while 
the  Church  was  there.  « 

It  has  always  been  a  well  understood  doctrine  of  the  Church 
that  it  was  right  and  praiseworthy  to  kill  every  person  who  spoke 
evil  of  the  Prophet.  This  doctrine  had  been  strictly  lived  up  to 
in  Utah,  until  the  Gentiles  arrived  in  such  great  numbers  that  it 
became  unsafe  to  follow  the  practice,  but  the  doctrine  is  still 
believed,  and  no  year  passes  without  one  or  more  of  those  who 
have  spoken  evil  of  Brigham  Young  being  killed,  in  a  secret 

Springfield,  Utah,  was  one  of  the  hot-beds  of  fanaticism,  and 
I  expect  that  more  men  were  killed  there,  in  proportion  to  pop- 
ulation, than  in  any  other  part  of  Utah.  In  that  settlement  it 
was  certain  death  to  say  a  word  against  the  authorities,  high  or 

In  Utah  it  has  been  the  custom  with  the  Priesthood  to  make 
eunuchs  of  such  men  as  were  obnoxious  to  the  leaders.  This 
was  done  for  a  double  purpose :  first,  it  gave  a  perfect  revenge, 
and  next,  it  left  the  poor  victim  a  living  example  to  others  of 
the  dangers  of  disobeying  counsel  and  not  living  as  ordered  by 
the  Priesthood. 

In  Nauvoo  it  was  the  orders  from  Joseph  Smith  and  his  apos- 
tl. r*  to  beat,  wound  and  castrate  all  Gentiles  that  the  police 
c<>  .Id  take  in  the  act  of  entering  or  leaving  a  Mormon  household 
under  circumstances  that  led  to  the  belief  that  they  had  been 
there  for  immoral  purposes.  I  knew  of  several  such  outrages 
while  there.  In  Utah  it  was  the  favorite  revenge  of  old,  worn-out 
members  of  the  Priesthood,  who  wanted  young  women  sealed  to 
them,  and  found  that  the  girl  preferred  some  handsome  young 
man.  The  old  priests  generally  got  the  girls,  and  many  a  young 
man  was  unsexed  for  refusing  to  give  up  his  sweetheart  at  the 


request  of  an  old  and  failing,  but  still  sensual  apostle  or  mem- 
ber of  the  Priesthood. 

As  an  illustration  I  will  refer  to  an  instance  that  many  a  good 
Saint  knows  to  be  true. 

Warren  Snow  was  Bishop  of  the  Church  at  Manti,  San  Pete 
County,  Utah.  He  had  several  wives,  but  there  was  a  fair, 
buxom  young  woman  in  the  town  that  Snow  wanted  for  a  wife. 
He  made  loye  to  her  with  all  his  powers,  went  to  parties  where 
she  was,  visited  her  at  her  home,  and  proposed  to  make  her  his 
wife.  She  thanked  him  for  the  honor  offered,  but  told  him  she 
was  then  engaged  to  a  young  man,  a  member  of  the  Church,  and 
consequently  could  not  marry  the  old  priest.  This  was  no  suffi- 
cient reason  to  Snow.  He  told  her  it  was  the  will  of  God  that  she 
should  marry  him,  and  she  must  do  so ;  that  the  young  man 
could  be  got  rid  of,  sent  on  a  mission  or  dealt  with  in  some  way 
so  as  to  release  her  from  her  engagement — that,  in  fact,  a  prom- 
ise made  to  the  young  man  was  not  binding,  when  she  was  in- 
formed that  it  was  contrary  to  the  wishes  of  the  authorities. 

The  girl  continued  obstinate.  The  "teachers"  of  the  town  vis- 
ited her  and  advised  her  to  marry  Bishop  Snow.  Her  parents, 
under  the  orders  of  the  Counselors  of  the  Bishop,  also  insisted 
that  their  daughter  must  marry  the  old  man.  She  still  refused. 
Then  the  authorities  called  on  the  young  man  and  directed  him 
to  give  up  the  young  woman.  This  he  steadfastly  refused  to  do. 
He  was  promised  Church  preferment,  celestial  rewards,  and 
everything  that  could  be  thought  of — all  to  no  purpose.  He  re- 
mained true  to  his  intended,  and  said  he  would  die  before  he 
would  surrender  his  intended  wife  to  the  embraces  of  another. 

This  unusual  resistance  of  authority,  by  the  young  people  made 
Snow  more  anxious  than  ever  to  capture  the  girl.  The  young 
man  was  ordered  to  go  on  a  mission  to  some  distant  locality,  so 
that  the  authorities  would  have  no  trouble  in  effecting  their  pur- 
pose of  forcing  the  girl  to  marry  as  they  desired.  But  the  mis- 
sion was  refused  by  the  still  contrary  and  unfaithful  young 

It  was  then  determined  that  the  rebellious  young  man  must 
be  forced  by  harsh  treatment  to  respect  the  advice  and  orders 
of  the  Priesthood.  His  fate  was  left  to  Bishop  Snow  for  his  de- 
cision. He  decided  that  the  young  man  should  be  castrated ; 
Snow  saying,  "When  that  is  done,  he  will  not  be  liable  to  want 


the  girl  badly,  and  she  will  listen  to  reason  when  she  knows  that 
her  lover  is  no  longer  a  man." 

It  was  then  decided  to  call  a  meeting  of  the  people  who  lived 
true  to  counsel,  which  was  to  be  held  in  the  school-house  in  Manti, 
at  which  place  the  young'man  should  be  present,  and  dealt  with 
according  to  Snow's  will.  The  meeting  was  called.  The  young 
man  was  there,  and  was  again  requested,  ordered  and  threatened, 
to  get  him  to  surrender  the  young  woman  to  Snow,  but  true  to 
his  plighted  troth,  he  refused  to  consent  to  give  up  the  girl. 
The  lights  were  then  put  out.  An  attack  was  made  o'n  the 
young  man.  He  was  severely  beaten,  and  then  tied  with  his 
back  down  on  a  bench,  when  Bishop  Snow  took  a  bowie-knife, 
and  performed  the  operation  in  a  most  brutal  manner,  and  then 
took  the  portion  severed  from  his  victim  and  hung  it  up  in  the 
school-house  on  a  nail,  so  that  it  could  be  seen  by  all  who 
visited  the  house  afterwards. 

The  party  then  left  the  young  man  weltering  in  his  blood, 
and  in  a  lifeless  condition.  During  the  night  he  succeeded  in 
releasing  himself  from  his  confinement,  and  dragged  himself  to 
some  hay-stacks,  where  he  lay  until  the  next  day,  when  he  was 
discovered  by  his  friends.  The -young  man  regained  his  health, 
but  has  been  an  idiot  or  quiet  lunatic  ever  since,  and  is  well 
known  by  hundreds  of  both  Mormons  and  Gentiles  in  Utah. 

After  this  outrage  old  Bishop  Snow  took  occasion  to  get  up  a 
meeting  at  the  school-house,  so  as 'to  get  the  people  of  Manti, 
and  the  young  woman  that  he  wanted  to  marry,  to  attend  the 
meeting.  When  all  had  assembled,  the  old  man  talked  to  the 
people  about  their  duty  to  the  Church,  and  their  duty  to  obey 
counsel,  and  the  dangers  of  refusal,  and  then  publicly  called  at- 
tention to  the  mangled  parts  of  the  young  man,  that  had  been 
severed  from  his  person,  and  stated  that  the  deed  had  been  done 
to  teach  the  people  that  the  counsel  of  the  Priesthood  must  be 
obeyed.  To  make  a  long  story  short,  I  will  say,  the  young 
woman  was  soon  after  forced  into  being  sealed  to  Bishop  Snow. 

Brigham  Young,  when  he  heard  of  this  treatment  of  the  young 
man,  was  very  mad,  but  did  nothing  against  Snow.  He  left  him 
in  charge  as  Bishop  at  Manti,  and  ordered  the  matter  to  be 
hushed  up.  This  is  only  one  instance  of  mauy  that  I  might  give 
to  show  the  danger  of  refusing  to  obey  counsel  in  Utah. 

It  frequently  happened  that  men  would  become  dissatisfied 
with  the  Church  or  something  else  in  Utah,  and  try  to  leave  the 


Territory.  The  authorities  would  try  to  convince  such  persons 
that  they  ought  to  remain,  but  if  they  insisted  on  going,  they 
were  informed  that  they  had  permission  to  do  so.  When  the 
person  had  started  off,  with  his  stock  and  property,  it  was 
nearly  always  the  rule  to  send  a  lot  of  Dauites  to  steal  all  the 
stock  and  run  it  off  into  the  mountains ;  so  that  in  the  majority 
of  cases  the  people  would  return  wholly  broken  up  and  settle 
down  again  as  obedient  members  of  the  Church.  It  was  a  rare 
thing  for  a  man  to  escape  from  the  Territory  with  all  of  his 
property,  until  after  the  Pacific  Railroad  was  built  through  Utah. 
It  was  the  general  custom  to  rob  the  persons  who  were  leaving 
the  country,  but  many  of  them  were  killed,  because  it  was  con- 
sidered they  would  tell  tales  that  should  not  be  made  public,  in 
•the  event  of  their  reaching  Gentile  settlements. 

Brigham  Young  discouraged  mining  at  all  times,  and  when 
any  man  found  any  metal  he  was  ordered  to  keep  it  a  secret. 
The  people  were,  taught  to  believe  that  the  Latter-Day  Saints 
would  soon  own  all  the  wealth  of  the  earth,  and  that  no  people 
but  Mormons  would  be  alive  in  a  few  years.  That  when  the  earth 
was  conquered  and  the  truths  of  Mormonism  were  universally 
acknowledged,  the  people  would  then  have  all  the  wealth  they 
desired.  Gold  would  be  as  plenty  as  silver,  silver  as  plenty  as 
brass,  brass  as  plenty  as  stone,  and  stone  as  plenty  as  wood. 
That  this  gold,  silver  and  other  metals  and  precious  stones 
would  then  be  used  for  beautifying  places  of  worship,  and  to 
make  holy  vessels  of,  and  each  man  was  to  have  all  the  wealth 
he  could  use  or  enjoy,  if  he  was  only  faithful  in  these  last  days. 

As  a  matter  to  satisfy  the  public,  I  will  give  the  following  facts 
connected  with  my  personal  history : 

When  I  moved  to  Nauvoo,  I  had  one  wife  and  one  child. 
Soon  after  I  got  there,  I  was  appointed  as  the  Seventh  Police- 
man. I  had  superiors  in  office,  and  was  sworn  to  secrecy,  and 
.to  obey  the  orders  of  my  superiors,  and  not  let  my  left  hand 
know  what  my  right  hand  did.  It  was  my  duty  to  do  as  I  was 
ordered,  and  not  to  ask  questions.  I  was  instructed  in  the 
secrets  of  the  Priesthood  to  a  great  extent,  and  taught  to  believe, 
as  I  then  did  believe,  that  it  was  my  duty,  and  the  duty  of  all 
men  to  obey  the  leaders  of  the  Church,  and  that  no  man  could 
commit  sin  so  long  as  he  acted  in  the  way  that  he  was  directed 
by  his  Church  superiors.  I  was  one  of  the  Life  Guard  of  the 
Prophet  Joseph  Smith. 



One  day  the  Chief  of  Police  came  to  me  and  said  that  I  must 
take  two  more  policemen  that  he  named,  and  watch  the  house  of 
a  widow  woman  named  Clawson.  She  was  the  mother  of  H.  B. 
Clawson,  of  Salt  Lake  City.  I  was  informed  that  a  man  went 
there  nearly  every  night  about  ten  o'clock,  and  left  about 
day  light.  I  was  also  ordered  to  station  myself  and  my  men 
near  the  house,  and  when  the  man  came  out  we  were  to  knock 
him  down  and  castrate  him,  and  not  to  be  careful  how  hard  we 
hit,  for  it  would  not  be  enquired  into  if  we  killed  him. 

I  did  not  believe  that  the  Chief  of  Police  knew  just  what  he 
was  doing.  I  felt  a  timidity  about  carrying  out  the  orders.  It 
was  my  duty  to  report  all  unusual  orders  that  I  received  from, 
my  superiors  on  the  police  force,  to  the  Prophet  Joseph  Smith, 
or  in  his  absence,  to  Hyrum,  next  in  authority.  I  went  to  the 
house  of  the  Prophet  to  report,  but  he  was  not  at  home.  I  then 
called  for  Hyrum,  and  he  gave  me  an  interview.  I  told  him  the 
orders  that  I  had  received  from  the  Chief,  and  asked  him  if  I 
should  obey  or  not.  He  said  to  me, 

"Brother  Lee,  }rou  have  acted  wisely  in  listening  to  the  voice 
of  the  Spirit.  It  was  the  influence  of  God's  Spirit  that  sent  you 
here.  You  would  have  been  guilty  of  a  great  crime  if  you  had 
obeyed  your  Chief's  orders." 

Hyrum  then  told  me  that  the  man  that  I  was  ordered  to  attack 
was  Howard  .Egan,  and  that  he  had  been  sealed  to  Mrs.  Claw- 
son,  and  that  their  marriage  was  a  most  holy  one ;  that  it  was  in 
accordance  with  a  revelation  that  the  Prophet  had  recently  re- 
ceived direct  from  God.  He  then  explained  to  me  fully  the 
doctrines  of  polygamy,  and  wherein  it  was  permitted,  and  why  it 
was  right. 

I  was  greatly  interested  in  the  doctrine.  It  accorded  exactly 
with  my  views  of  the  Scripture,  and  I  at  once  accepted  and  be- 
lieved in  the  doctrine  as  taught  by  the  revelations  received  by 
Joseph  Smith,  the  Prophet.  As  a  matter  of  course  I  did  not 
carry  out  the  orders,  of  the  Chief.  I  had  him  instructed  in  his 
duty,  and  so  Egan  was  never  bothered  by  the  police. 

A  few  months  after  that  I  was  sealed  to  my  second  wife.  I 
was  sealed  to  her  by  Brigham- Young,  then  one  of  the  Twelve. 
In  less  than  one  year  after  I  first  learned  the  will  of  God  con- 
cerning the  marriage  of  the  Saints,  as  made  known  by  Him  in  a 
revelation  to  Joseph  Smith,  I  was  the  husband  of  nine  icives. 


I  took  my  wives  in  the  following  order:  first,  Agathe  Ann 
Woolsey ;  second,  Nancy  Berry ;  third,  Louisa  Free  (now  one 
of  the  wives  of  Daniel  H.  Wells);  fourth,  Sarah  C.  Williams; 
fifth,  old  Mrs.  Woolsey  (she  was  the  mother  of  Agathe  Ann 
and  Rachel  A.  I  married  her  for  her  soul's  sake,  for  her  sal- 
vation in  the  eternal  state)  ;  sixth,  Rachel  A.  Woolsey  (I  was 
sealed  to  her  at  the  same  time  that  I  was  to  her  mother)  ;  seventh, 
Andora  Woolsey  (a  sister  to  Rachel) ;  eighth,  Polly  Ann 
Workman ;  ninth,  Martha  Berry ;  tenth,  Delithea  Morris.  In 
1847,  while  at  Council  Bluffs,  Brigham  Young  sealed  me  to  three 
women  in  on»  night,  viz.,  eleventh,  Nancy  Armstrong  (she  was 
•what  we  called  a  widow.  She  left  her  first  husband  in  Ten- 
nessee, in  order  to  be  with  the  Mormon  people)  ;  twelfth,  Polly 
V.  Young;  thirteenth,  Louisa  Young  (these  two  were  sisters.) 
Next,  I  was  sealed  to  my  fourteenth  wife,  Emeline  Vaughn.  In 
1851,  I  was  sealed  to  my  fifteenth  wife,  Mary  Lear  Groves.  In 
1856,  I  was  sealed  to  my  sixteenth  wife,  Mary  Ann  Williams. 
In  1858,  Brigham  Young  gave  me  my  seventeenth  wife,  Emma 
Batchelder.  I  was  sealed  to  her  while  a  member  of  the  Terri- 
torial Legislature.  Brigham  Young  said  that  Isaac  C.  Haight, 
who  was  also  in  the  Legislature,  and  I,  needed  some  young 
women  to  renew  our  vitality,  so  he  gave  us  both  a  dashing  young 
bride.  In  1859  I  was  sealed  to  my  eighteenth  wife,  Teressa  Morse.  » 
I  was  sealed  to  her  by  order  of  Brigham  Young.  Amasa  Lyman 
officiated  at  the  ceremony.  The  last  wife  I  got  was  Ann  Gordge. 
Brigham  Young  gave  her  to  me,  and  I  was  sealed  to  her  in  Salt 
Lake  by  Heber  C.  Kimball.  This  was  my  nineteenth,  but,  as  I 
was  married  to  old  Mrs.  Woolsey  for  her  soul's  sake,  and  she 
was  near  sixty  years  old  when  I  married  her,  I  never  considered 
her  really  as  a  wife.  True,  I  treated  her  well  and  gave  her  all 
the  rights  of  marriage.  Still  I  never  count  her  as  one  of  my 
wives.  That  is  the  reason  that  I  claim  only  eighteen  true  wives. 

After  1861  I  never  asked  Brigham  Young  for  another  wife. 
By  my  eighteen  real  wives  I  have  been  the  father  of  sixty-four 
children.  Ten  of  my  children  are  dead  and  fifty-four  are  still 

This  is  all  I  care  to  say  about  my  own  acts  or  the  affairs  of 
my  family. 

I  have  but  little  more  to  say. 

To  the  jurymen  who  tried  me,  I  say  I  have  no  unkind  feelings. 
The  evidence  was  strong  against  me,  and  with  that,  and  the  in- 


struetions  of  the  Court  as  they  were  given,  tke  jury  could  do 
nothing  but  convict. 

To  the  officers  who  have  had  me  in  charge  during  my  confine- 
ment I  return  my  thanks  for  their  personal  kindness.  I  give 
them  the  thanks  of  an  old  man,  who  is  about  to  leave  this  earth 
and  go  to  another  sphere  of  existence. 

The  few  guardsmen  who  misused  me  I  forgive,  for  they  were 
not  conscious  of  their  own  wickedness. 

If  I  have  sinned  and  violated  the  laws  of  my  country,  I  have 
done  so  because  I  have  blindly  followed  and  obeyed  the  orders 
of  the  Church  leaders.  I  was  guided  in  all  that  I  did  which  is 
called  criminal,  by  the  orders  of  the  leaders  in  the  Church  of 
Jesns  Christ  of  Latter-Day  Saints.  I  have  never  knowingly 
disobeyed  the  orders  of  the  Church  since  I  joined  it  at  Far 
West,  Missouri,  until  I  was  deserted  by  Brigham  Young  and  his 

I  have  selected  Wm.  W.  Bishop  as  the  person  that  I  wish  to 
publish  my  life  and  confessions,  so  that  the  world  may  know 
just  what  I  did  do,  and  why  I  acted  as  I  have  done.  I  have  de- 
livered Mr.  Bishop  all  of  the  manuscripts  and  private  writings 
that  are  in  my  possession,  and  wish  him  to  have  all  that  I  may 
hereafter  write.  I  have  assigned  him  all  my  writings,  and  he  is 
the  only  person  on  earth  who  has  a  right  to  publish  my  life  or  my 

To  my  attorneys,  one  and  all,  who  have  given  me  their  valua- 
ble services,  I  return  m}'  kindest  thanks,  and  regret  that  poverty 
prevents  my  paying  them  for  what  they  have  done  for  me. 

To  my  family  I  say,  may  God  pour  rich  blessings  upon  you, 
one  and  all.  I  ask  you  to  live  here  on  earth  so  that  you  can 
justly  claim  a  seat  in  the  realms  of  bliss  after  life's  troubles  are 

To  my  enemies  I  say,  judge  not,  that  ye  be  not  judged.  In  life 
you  were  often  unjust  to  me.  After  I  am  dead  remember  to  be 
charitable  to  one  who  never  designedly  did  a  wrong. 


Written  in  prison  at  Fort  Cameron,  near  Beaver  City,  Utah 
Territory.  Delivered  to  Hon.  Sumner  Howard  by  John  D.  Lee, 
on  the  field  of  execution,  just  before  the  sentence  of  death  was 
carried  into  effect. 


Forwarded  to  Wm.  W.  Bishop,  by  Hon.  Sunnier  Howard, 
according  to  the  last  request  of  John  D.  Lee. 

CAMP  CAMERON,  March  13th,  1877. 

Morning  clear,  still  and  pleasant.  The  guard,  George  Tracy, 
informs  me  that  Col.  Nelson  and  Judge  Howard  have  gone. 
Since  my  confinement  here,  I  have  reflected  much  over  my  sen- 
tence, and  as  the  time  of  my  execution  is  drawing  near,  I  feel 
composed,  and  as  calm  as  the  summer  morning.  I  hope  to  meet 
my  fate  with  manly  courage.  I  declare  my  innocence.  I  have 
done  nothing  designedly  wrong  in  that  unfortunate  and  lament- 
.able  affair  with  which  I  have  been  implicated.  I  used  my 
utmost  endeavors  to  save  them  from  their  sad  fate.  I  freely 
would  have  given  worlds,  were  they  at  my  command,  to  have 
averted  that  evil.  I  wept  and  mourned  over  them  before  and 
after,  but  words  will  not  help  them,  now  it  is  done.  My  blood 
cannot  help  them,  neither  can  it  make  that  atonement  required. 
Death  to  me  has  no  terror.  It  is  but  a  struggle,  and  all  is  over. 
I  much  regret  to  part  with  my  loved  ones  here,  especially  under 
that  odium  of  disgrace  that  will  follow  my  name ;  that  I  cannot 

I  know  that  I  have  a  reward  in  Heaven,  and  my  conscience 
does  not  accuse  me.  This  to  me  is  a  great  consolation.  I  place 
more  value  upon  it  than  I  would  upon  an  eulogy  without  merit. 
If  my  work  is  done  here  on  earth,  I  ask  my  Gcd  in  Heaven,  in 
the  name  of  His  Son  Jesus  Christ,  to  receive  my  spirit,  and 
allow  me  to  meet  my  loved  ones  who  have  gone  behind  the  vail. 
The  bride  of  my  youth  and  her  faithful  mother,  my  devoted 
friend  and  companion,  N.  A.,  also  my  dearly  beloved  children, 
all  of  whom  I  parted  from  with  sorrow,  but  shall  meet  them 
with  joy — I  bid  you  all  an  affectionate  farewell.  I  have  been 
treacherously  betrayed  and  sacrificed  in  the  most  cowardly  man- 
ner by  those  who  should  have  been  my  friends,  and  whose  will 
I  have  diligently  striven  to  make  my  pleasure,  for  the  last  thirty 
years  at  least.  In  return  for  my  faithfulness  and  fidelity  to  him 
and  Ids  cause,  he  has  sacrificed  me  in  a  most  shameful  and  cruel 
way.  I  leave  them  in  the  hands  of  the  Lord  to  deal  with  them 
according  to  the  merits  of  their  crimes,  in  the  final  restitution 
of  all  things. 


I  beg  of  you  to  teach  them  better  things  than  to  ever  allow 


themselves  to  be  let  down  so  low  as  to  be  steeped  in  the  vice,, 
corruption  and  villainy  that  would  allow  them  to  sacrifice  the 
meanest  wretch  on  earth,  much  less  a  neighbor  and  a  friend,  as- 
their  father  has  been.  Be  kind  and  true  to  each  other.  Do  not 
contend  about  my  property.  You  know  my  mind  concerning  it. 
Live  faithful  and  humble  before  God,  that  we  may  meet  again 
in  the  mansions  of  bliss  that  God  has  prepared  for  His  faithful 
servants.  Remember  the  last  words  of  your  most  true  and 
devoted  friend  on  earth,  and  let  them  sink  deep  into  your  tender 
aching  hearts ;  many  of  you  I  may  never  see  in  this  world  again, 
but  I  leave  my  blessing  with  you.  FAREWELL. 

I  wish  my  wife  Rachel  to  take  a  copy  of  the  above,  and  all 
my  family  to  have  a  copy  of  the  original.  My  worthy  attorney, 
"W.  W.  Bishop,  will  please  insert  it  in  my  record  or  history, 
should  I  not  be  able  to  write  up  my  histoiy  to  the  proper  place, 
to  speak  of  my  worthy  friend  Wm.  H.  Hooper.  Please  exoner- 
ate him  from  all  blame  or  censure  of  buying  the  stock  of  that 
unfortunate  company,  as  there  is  no  truth  in  the  accusation 
whatever.  He  is  a  noble,  high-minded  gentleman.  And  let  it 
appear  also  of  Bishop  John  Sharp,  honorably,  for  the  nobleness 
of  the  man  who  advanced  me  money  in  the  time  of  trouble,  and 
if  my  history  meet  with  the  favor  of  the  public,  pay  those  two 
gentlemen.  My  friends  Hoge  and  Foster,  as  well  as  yourself  and 
Spicer,  some.  You  understand  our  agreement. 





TTTISHING  to  give  a  correct  account  of  the  arrest  of  John  D. 
V  V  Lee,  by  William  Stokes,  Deputy  United  States  Marshal  for 
the  District  of  Utah,  I  wrote  a  letter  to  Mr.  Stokes,  on  the  28th 
day  of  March,  1877,  asking  him  to  give  the  full  facts,  as  many 
contradictory  statements  relating  thereto  had  been  in  general 
circulation.  The  following  letter  was  written  by  Mr.  Stokes,  and 
I  know  from  the  general  character  of  the  writer  that  the  same  is 
true  in  every  particular.  I  give  the  letter  in  the  language  of 
the  writer.  It  explains  itself: 

BEAVER  CITY,  UTAH,  April  1st,  1877.       / 
WM.  W.  BISHOP,  Pioche,  Nevada: 

My  Dear  Sir :  Yours  of  the  28th  of  March  at  hand  and  con- 
tents noted.  As  requested,  I  send  you  all  the  facts  of  the  ar- 
rest of  John  D.  Lee,  from  the  time  the  warrants  were  placed  in 
my  hands  until  I  arrested  him  and  brought  him  to  Beaver  City. 
I  tell  it  in  my  own  way,  and  you  can  use  it  as  you  see  proper. 

About  the  first  of  October,  1874,  warrants  were  placed 
in  my  hands  for  the  arrest  of  Lee,  Haight,  Higbee,  Stewart, 
Wilden,  Adair,  Klingensmith  and  Jukes  (the  warrant  for  the  ar- 
rest of  Dame  not  being  placed  in  my  hands  at  that  time.)  I  re- 
ceived instructions  from  General  George  R.  Maxwell,  United 
States  Marshal  for  the  District  of  Utah,  that  Lee  was  the  most 
important  one  of  all  those  indicted,  and  that  he  wanted  him  ar- 
rested first,  if  possible,  but  that  it  was  a  dangerous  undertaking, 
for  he  was  satisfied  by  what  he  could  learn  that  he  would  never 
be  taken  alive.  He  wanted  me  to  take  him  alive,  if  possible, 
but  not  at  too  great  a  risk ;  that  he  did  not  want  to  give  me  any 
plan  of  operations  or  particular  instructions  how  to  act,  as  he 


believed  that  I  knew  more  about  that  kind  of  business  than  he- 
did,  and  that  he  did  not  wish  to  give  any  officer  under  him  any 
plans  when  he  was  sure,  as  he  was  in  this  case,  that  it  would  be 
laying  a  plan  to  have  one  of  his  own  officers  killed. 

I  took  the  case  in  hand,  thinking  at  that  time  that  I  would 
have  to  go  to  Lee's  place  on  the  Colorado  River.  I  was  arrang- 
ing for  that  trip. 

On  the  28th  day  of  October,  1874,  I  started  south  from 
Beaver  City,  to  summon  jurors  for  the  November  term  of  the- 
District  Court  for  the  Second  Judicial  District  of  Utah  Territo- 
ry, to  be  held  at  Beaver  City.  I  also  intended  to  procure  a 
guide,  if  I  could  do  so,  and  go  to  the  Colorado  River  to  make 
the  arrest. 

When  I  reached  Parowan  I  learned  that  it  was  currently  re- 
ported that  Lee  had  come  from  the  Colorado  River,  and  was 
then  in  the  southern  counties  of  Utah.  He  was  supposed  to  be 
at  Harmony,  because  it  was  known  that  he  had  some  accounts 
due  him  there,  which  he  was  then  probably  collecting,  in  the 
shape  of  provisions,  to  take  back  with  him  to  the  river. 

I  at  once  started  on  again,  on  my  way  south,  determined  to 
attempt  to  arrest  him  at  Harmony,  and  to  do  so  alone,  for  I  did 
not  know  where  reliable  aid  could  be  had.  I  considered  there 
was  no  time  to  lose,  and  that  I  was  taking  no  more  chances  to 
attempt  the  arrest  alone  than  I  would  be  taking  if  I  found  him  at 
the  Colorado  River,  at  his  stronghold,  even  if  backed  by  a  strong 

On  my  way  I  met  Thomas  Winn.  I  told  him  what  I  was  in- 
tending to  do.  I  told  him  I  was  going  to  arrest  Lee.  "Winn  said 
he  considered  it  almost  madness,  as  it  was  reported  that  several 
of  Lee's  sons  were  with  him,  and  all  well  armed.  He  kindly 
volunteered  to  go  with  me  and  take  even  chances. 

We  finally  decided  that  he  should  go  to  Iron  City  and  get 
help,  as  there  were  then  several  men  there  that  we  could  de- 
pend on.  He  was  to  get  these  men  and  be  at  Harmony  by  day- 
lio-ht  on  the  morning  of  the  30th  of  October.  I  was  to  go  to 
Harmony  and  get  there  soon  after  dark  the  night  of  the  29th  of 
October,  and  make  the  arrest,  if  I  thought  I  could  do  so  and  get 
away  in  safety  in  the  cover  of  the  night.  If  not,  I  was  to  find 
out  where  he  was,  and  wait  for  assistance. 

When  I  got  to  Hamilton's  Fort,  eight  miles  south  of  Cedar 
City,  I  learned  that  Lee  had  left  Harmony  and  gone  back  to  the 

(The  Dep'y  U.  8.  Marshal  who  arrested  Lee.) 

ABLEST  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  295 

Colorado  Eiver,  by  the  way  of  Toquerville,  and  was  then  sev- 
eral days  ahead  of  me.  I  then  sent  a  boy  out  on  the  Iron  City 
road  to  stop  Winn  and  send  him  back. 

I  proceeded  on  my  way  and  summoned  my  jurors.  I  could 
hear  nothing  of  Lee  in  the  southern  country.  On  my  way 
back  I  stopped  at  Thomas  Winn's  house,  and  got  him  to  go  over 
on  the  Sevier  River,  to  see  if  Lee  had  not  gone  by  the  way  of 
Panguitch,  and  stopped  there  to  lay  in  more  supplies. 

Winn  started  on  the  5th  day  of  November,  and  took  Franklin 
E.  Fish  with  him.  They  pretended  to  be  looking  for  stock. 
They  were  to  report  to  me  at  Parowan,  on  the  night  of  the  7th 
of  November.  I  returned  to  Beaver  City,  and  made  my  returns. 

On  the  morning  of  November  7th,  I  started  for  Parowan  to 
meet  my  men,  Winn  and  Fish.  v 

That  same  day  Brigham  Young  went  from  Beaver  to  Parowan. 
He  passed  me  near  the  Buck  Horn  Springs.  I  have  no  doubt 
but  that  he  thought  I  was  there  to  assassinate,  him,  for  he  had 
four  of  the  best  fighting  men  of  Beaver  City  with  him  as  a  guard. 
They  were  armed  with  Henry  rifles,  and  as  they  came  up  to  me, 
the  guard  rode  between  me  and  their  beloved  Prophet's  car- 
riage ;  but  they  had  no  reason  for  alarm.  Brigham  Young  was 
not  the  man  that  I  was  after  at  that  time. 

I  met  Winn  and  Fish  at  Red  Creek.  As  they  were  coming 
out  of  Little  Creek  Canyon,  Winn  remarked : 

"  Your  man  is  there!" 

I  was  very  much  surprised,  as  I  had  but  little  hope  of  finding 
Lee  nearer  than  the  Colorado  River,  but  I  found  he  was  at  the 
town  of  Panguitch,  and  was  liable  to  leave  at  any  time. 

As  the  men  had  found  that  Lee  had  made  every  thing  ready 
for  a  start,  we  rode  on  to  Parowan,  where  1  arranged  my  plan 
of  action.  Fish/  was  to  go  back  over  the  mountains  to  Pan- 
guitch that  night,  with  instructions  to  come  out  and  meet  us,  in 
case  Lee  should  start  away  from  Panguitch ;  otherwise  he  was  to 
remain  there  and  have  Lee  located,  so  that  he  could  guide 
us  to  where  he  was,  when  we  should  arrive  the  next  morning. 
I  was  to  start  back  toward  Beaver  City  on  Sunday  morning, 
the  8th  day  of  November.  I  was  to  go  on  in  that  way  until  I  had 
passed  Red  Creek  settlement,  and  then  go  up  Little  Creek 
Canyon.  The  others  who  were  to  go  as  my  assistants,  were 
Thomas  Winn,  Thomas  LaFever,  Samuel  G.  Rodgers  and  David 
Evans,  (Franklin  R.  Fish  having  gone  the  night  before.)  They 


were  to  go  into  the  mountains  in  different  places,  and  all  to 
meet  near  Thompson's  Mill  on  Little  Creek. 

We  followed  this  plan,  and  met  at  the  mill.  We  then  went 
over  the  mountains  towards  Panguitch. 

The  snow  on  the  way  would  average  fully  two  feet  in  depth, 
and  the  night  was  very  cold.  We  stopped  at  a  place  about  three 
miles  from  Panguitch  for  the  night.  I  then  sent  David  Evans 
into  Panguitch  to  see  Franklin  R.  Fish,  and  find  out  if  all  was 
right,  and  then  he  was  to  report  to  us  before  daylight  next 
morning,  when  we  got  near  the  town.  Long  before  daylight 
we  saddled  our  horses  and  started  on,  for  the  night  was  bitter 
cold.  We  had  no  blankets  with  us,  and  dared  not  build  much 
fire,  for  fear  it  would  alarm  Lee  and  notify  him  or  his  friends 
that  we  were  there.  We  reached  the  place  where  David  Evans 
was  to  meet  us,  some  time  before  daylight ;  he  was  not  there. 
We  waited  until  after  the  sun  was  up,  but  still  Evans  did  not 
come.  Then  thinking  that  my  plans  had  been  found  out  in  some 
way,  and  that  my  two  men,  Fish  and  Evans,  were  captured,  and 
more  than  likely  blood  atoned,  I  concluded  to  act  quickly  and 

We  mounted  our  horses  and  dashed  into  the  town  at  full 
speed.  We  found  Evans,  and  learned  that  Fish  had  not  been 
able  to  locate  Lee,  but  knew  that  he  was  in  town.  I  then 
ordered  my  men  to  go  to  different  parts  of  the  town,  and  to 
keep  a  good  look-out,  and  not  to  let  any  wagon  go  out  of  town 
until  they  had  searched  the  wagon.  I  enquired  of  the  citizens 
about  Lee,  but  could  learn  nothing  from  them  about  him.  Some 
said  they  never  knew  him,  others  that  they  never  heard  of 
such  a  man,  had  not  even  heard  the  name.  The  citizens  soon 
came  crowding  around  in  disagreeable  numbers.  I  saw  I  must 
resort  to  strategy,  or  I  and  my  friends  were  in  danger ;  so  in 
order  to  disperse  the  crowd,  I  took  out  my  book  and  pencil  and 
took  down  the  names  of  those  around  me.  I  then  summoned 
them  to  assist  me  in  finding  and  arresting  John  D.  Lee.  They 
each  and  all  had  some  excuse,  but  I  refused  to  excuse  any  of 
them  and  ordered  them  to  go  and  get  their  arms  and  come  back 
and  aid  me.  This  worked  well,  for  in  less  than  five  minutes 
there  was  not  a  Mormon  to  be  seen  on  the  streets  of  Panguitch. 
About  this  time  I  rode  near  Thomas  Winn,  when  he  said, 

"I  believe  I  have  Lee  spotted.  I  asked  a  little  boy  where 
Lee's  wife  lived,  and  he  showed  me  the  house." 

ARREST  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  297 

This  was  something  to  work  on.  I  then  rode  around  to  the 
bouse  that  Winn  had  pointed  out  to  me.  As  I  turned  the  street 
corner,  I  saw  a  woman  looking  into  a  log  pen,  and  when  she  saw 
me,  she  turned  back  towards  the  house,  then  turned  and  walked 
bai-k  to  the  pen,  and  appeared  to  be  talking  to  some  one  in  the  pen. 
She  seemed  to  be  very  much  excited.  I  rode  by  the  house  and 
around  the  lot,  and  while  doing  so  I  saw  a  little  girl  go  out  and 
look  into  the  pen  for  a  little  while ;  she  then  took  up  a  handful 
of  straw  and  went  back  into  the  house.  I,  like  Winn,  was  then 
satisfied  that  Lee  was  in  that  pen.  I  then  told  Winii  to  keep 
the  place  in  sight,  but  not  appear  to  be  watching  it,  while  I  was 
getting  ready  to  search  for  Lee.  I  soon  afterwards  met  Samuel 
Lee.  1  took  down  his  name  and  ordered  him  to  assist  me  in 
searching  for  and  arresting  John  D.  Lee. 

"  John  D.  Lee  is  my  father,  sir,"  said  he. 

I  told  him  it  made  no  difference  to  me  if  he  was  his  grand- 
mother, that  I  was  going  to  search  the  house  and  wanted  him 
with  me. 

He  said  he  was  going  down  to  the  threshing  machine  to  see 
his  brother  Al,  and  started  off. 

I  drew  my  revolver  and  told  him  to  stop. 

He  walked  right  along,  looking  back  over  his  shoulder  at  me 
all  the  time.  I  then  spurred  my  horse  and  went  in  front  of  him. 
He  said, 

"You  can  shoot  and  be  d — d.  I  am  not  heeled,  but  I  am 
going  down  to  see  my  brother  Al." 

While  we  were  talking,  Alma  Lee  came  up  and  asked  what 
was  up. 

Sain  said,   "  This  is  the  officer  come  to  arrest  father." 

Al  said,  "  H — 1 !  is  that  all !  I  thought  there  was  a  dog  fight, 
I  saw  so  many  gathered  around  here." 

He  then  took  Sam  one  side  and  talked  to  him  for  a  time. 
Sam  soon  came  back  and  said  he  was  read}'  to  go  with  me. 

I  then  dismounted  and  had  Winn  do  the  same.  I  first  went 
into  the  house,  where  I  found  several  women.  I  searched 
the  house  thoroughly,  but  found  no  one  in  it  that  I  wanted.  I 
then  said  to  Sam, 

"  We  will  go  over  to  this  other  house." 

Sam  very  cheerfully  said,  "All  right,  come  on,  "  and  staru.ii 
out  ahead  of  me. 


When  I  got  into  the  yard  I  stopped,  saying,  "  Hold  on;  here 
is  a  corral  out  here,  let  us  examine  that." 

At  this  Sam  came  to  a  stand-still,  and  was  very  much  excited. 
I  was  then  very  certain  that  my  man  was  there.  I  had  to  urge 
Sam  considerably  to  get  him  to  go  up  to  the  corral  with  me. 
Henry  Darrow,  one  of  Lee's  sons-in-law,  followed  us.  I  took  a 
circle  around  the  corral,  and  then  walked  up  to  the  log  pen, 
which  was  used  for  a  chicken  house.  This  pen  was  about  seven 
feet  wide,  nine  feet  long,  and  four  feet  high  in  the  clear.  There 
was  a  hole  close  to  the  ground,  just  about  large  enough  for  a  man 
to  crawl  through.  I  first  went  to  this  hole  and  looked  through 
into  the  pen,  but  I  could  see  nothing  but  some  loose  straw  in  the 
back  end  of  the  pen.  I  then  discovered  a  little  hole  between  the 
top  logs,  near  the  back  end,  where  the  straw  covering  was  off. 
I  went  to  this  hole  and  put  my  eye  down  to  it,  and  I  then  saw 
one  side  of  Lee's  face,  as  he  lay  on  his  right  side ;  his  face  was 
partly  covered  with  loose  straw.  I  waited  a  few  seconds,  until 
Winn  came  near  enough  for  him  to  hear  me  without  my  speaking 
over  a  whisper.  I  then  said, 

"There  is  some  one  in  that  pen.' 

Darrow  said,  "I  guess  not." 

I  said,  "I  am  certain  there  is  a  person  in  there." 
.  "Well,  if  there  is,  it  is  likely  one  of  the  children,"  said  Darrow. 

By  this  time  Winn  was  in  position  and  was  holding  his  Henry 
rifle  ready  for  instant  use.  Winn  and  myself  were  alone. 
All  my  other  men  were  in  other  parts  of  the  town.  Just  then  I 
saw  Fish  coming.  I  then  said, 

"  Mr.  Lee,  come  out  and  surrender  yourself.  I  have  come  to 
arrest  you." 

He  did  not  move.  I  repeated  this  several  times,  but  no  move 
was  made  by  Lee.  I  then  looked  around  to  see  if  any  of  my 
men  were  coming.  I  saw  that  Fish  was  sitting  on  his  horse 
right  in  front  of  the  door,  and  had  his  gun  in  his  hand.  I 
motioned  my  hand  for  him  to  come  to  me,  but  he  remained 
still  and  kept  watch  of  the  house,  as  if  he  was  going  to  shoot,  or 
expected  danger  from  that  quarter.  His  action  rather  surprised 
me,  for  he  was  a  brave  man,  and  quick  to  obey  orders.  I  then 
looked  at  the  house  to  see  what  was  attracting  his  attention, 
and  I  soon  saw  there  was  enough  there  to  claim  his  full  time.  I 
saw  two  guns  pointed  through  the  logs  of  the  side  of  the  house 
and  aimed  directly  at  me,  and  Fish  was  watching  the  people  who 


held  those  guns.  That  looked  like  business.  I  instantly  drew 
two  pistols  from  my  overcoat  pocket,  taking  one  in  each  hand. 
Up  to  this  time  I  had  not  drawn  a  pistol.  I  put  one  pistol 
through  the  crack  in  the  roof  of  the  pen,  with  the  muzzle  in 
eighteen  inches  of  Lee's  head.  I  then  said  to  Winn, 

"You  go  in  there  and  disarm  Lee,  and  I  promise  you  that  if 
a  single  straw  moves,  I  will  blow  his  head  off,  for  my  pistol  is> 
not  a  foot  from  his  head." 

Winn  said,  "All  right,"  and  was  going  into  the  pen.  Darrow 
then  commenced  to  beg  me  not  to  shoot.  Lee  also  spoke  and- 

"Hold  on  boys,  don't  shoot,  I  will  come  out." 

He  then  commenced  to  turn  over  to  get  out  of  the  pen,  at  the' 
same  time  patting  bis  pistol  (which  he  had  all  the  time  held  in 
his  hand  and  lying  across  his  breast)  into  the  scabbard.  I 
said  to  Winn,  "Stand  back  and  look  out,  for  there  is  danger 
from  the  house." 

Darrow  continued  to  beg  us  not  to  shoot,  saying,  "  Lee  is  an 
old  man,"  etc.  I  told  Darrow  that  I  would  not  hurt  a  hair  of 
Lee's  head  if  he  surrendered  peaceabty,  but  that  I  was  not 
going  to  die  like  a  dog,  nor  would  I  permit  Lee  to  get  away  alive. 

Lee  came  out  of  the  pen,  and  after  straightening  up,  he  said, 
very  coolly,  "Well,  bo}Ts,  what  do  you  want  of  me?" 

I  said :  "I  have  a  warrant  for  your  arrest,  and  must  take  37ou< 
to  Beaver  with  me." 

I  then  took  out  the  warrant  and  read  it  to  him.  When  I  got 
to  that  portion  of  the  warrant  which  read  "  charged  with  mur- 
der," he  said, 

"  Why  didn't  they  put  it  in  wholesale  murder?  They  meant 

He  then  asked  me  to  show  him  the  pistol  that  I  put  through 
the  pen  and  pointed  at  his  head.  He  said, 

"  It  was  the  queerest  looking  pistol  that  I  ever  saw.  It 
looked  like  a  man's  hand  with  the  fingers  cut  off  short." 

I  showed  it  to  him.  It  was  a  dragoon  pistol,  with  the  barrel 
cut  off  short.  He  laughed  when  he  saw  it,  and  was  not  at  all 

We  then  went  to  the  house.  The  women  seemed  wild  with 
excitement,  some  of  them  crying  and  all  unreasonable  in  their 
language.  Lee  told  his  family  to  be  quiet,  and  did  all  that  he- 


could  to  pacify  them.  He  said  he  considered  that  the  time  had 
come  when  he  could  get  a  fair  trial,  etc. 

I  then  sent  and  bought  some  wine,  and  took  a  pitcher  cf  the 
liquid  into  the  house  to  the  women.  They  all  took  a  drink. 
When  I  got  to  one  of  his  daughters,  who  was  crying  bitterly, 
she  took  the  glass  and  said, 

"  Here  is  hoping  that  father  will  get  away  from  you,  and  that 
if  he  does,  you  will  not  catch  him  again  till  h — 1  freezes  over." 

I  said,  "Drink  hearty,  Miss." 

By  the  time  all  the  family  had  taken  a  drink,  a  large  number 
of  people  had  gathered  around  the  house.  I  think  fully  one 
hundred  and  fifty  Mormons  were  there.  I  turned  to  one  of  my 
men  and  told  him  to  try  and  find  some  place  where  we  could  get 
something  to  eat.  Lee  heard  me,  and  at  once  apologized  for 
not  thinking  to  ask  us  to  have  something  to  eat  before  that  time. 
"  But,"  said  he,  "  the  women  folks  have  been  making  so  much 
fuss  that  I  have  thought  of  nothing." 

He  then  ordered  breakfast  for  us  all.  His  sons  gathered 
around  him  and  told  him  that  if  he  did  not  want  to  go  to  Beaver, 
to  say  so,  and  they  would  see  that  he  didn't  go.  Lee  then  took 
me  one  side  and  told  me  what  his  friends  proposed,  and  wanted 
to  know  what  answer  he  should  give  them.  I  thought  he  did 
this  to  see  if  there  was  any  chance  to  frighten  me.  I  told  him 
to  tell  the  boys  to  turn  themselves  loose  ;  that  I  knew  I  had  no 
friends  in  that  place,  except  those  who  came  with  me,  but  we 
were  well  armed,  and  when  trouble  commenced  we  would  shoot 
those  nearest  to  us  at  the  first,  and  make  sure  of  them,  and  then 
continue  to  make  it  lively  while  we  lasted. 

Lee  said  he  did  not  want  anything  of  that  kind  to  happen,  and 
would  see  that  the  boys  behaved  themselves — that  he  thought 
the  time  had  come  for  him  to  have  a  fair  and  impartial  trial,  and 
ke  would  go  with  me. 

I  then  hired  a  team  from  Lee,  and  hired  his  son-in-law  to 
drive  it.  We  started  from  Panguitch  soon  after  breakfast.  We 
put  two  of  our  animals  in  the  team,  making  a  four-horse  team — 
Darrow  drove.  Lee  and  Rachel,  one  of  his  .wives,  and  two  of 
my  men  rode  in  the  wagon.  It  was  about  11,  A.  M.,  on  Monday, 
the  7th  day  of  NoA'ember,  1874,  when  we  left  Panguitch  with 
John  D.  Lee  as  a  prisoner.  We  reached  Fremont  Springs  that 
night  at  about  11  o'clock,  and  camped  there  until  daylight.  The 
roads  were  so  bad  that  we  had  been  twelve  hours  in  making 

AEEEST  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  301 

thirty  miles.  The  night  was  dark  and  cold,  and  having  no- 
blankets  with  us  we  could  not  sleep,  and  to  add  to  the  discom- 
fort, we  had  nothing  to  eat. 

We  left  Freemont  Springs  at  daylight,  and  reached  Beaver 
about  10  o'clock,  A.  M.,  November  10th,  1874.  We  had  been. 
twenty-four  hours  without  food.  Lee  and  Rachel  had  fared  bet- 
ter than  we  had,  for  they  had  a  lunch  with  them.  When  we 
reached  Beaver  the  people  were  almost  thundert-struck  with  as- 
tonishment to  know  that  John  D.  Lee  had  been  arrested. 

After  the  arrest  Lee  was  in  my  custody  the  greater  portion  of 
the  time  that  he  was  in  prison.  He  never  gave  any  trouble  to  me 
or  his  guards.  He  never  tried  to  escape,  but  at  all  times  assisted 
the  guards  to  carry  out  the  instructions  that  they  had  received 
from  the  officers. 

This  is  a  hasty  sketch,  but  I  trust  will  answer  your  purpose. 
Hoping  you  will  meet  with  that  success  which  you  so  richly  de- 
serve, I  remain  your  most  obedient  servant, 



TRIAL   OF   LEE,    AT    BEAVER    CITY,    UTAH   TERRITORY,    SEPT.,    1876. 

A  JURY  was  sworn  to  try  the  case  on  Thursday,  September 
14,  1876,  after  which  the  court  adjourned  until  the  15th. 

Friday  morning,  September  15,  1876.  The  court  met. 
Present,  Hon.  Jacob  S.  Boreman,  Judge ;  Sumner  Howard, 
United  States  Attorney ;  Presley  Denney,  Deputy  United  States 
Attorney  ;  James  R.  Wilkins,  Clerk ;  John  D.  Lee,  the  defendant 
on  trial,  with  his  attorneys,  Wells  Spicer,  J.  C.  Foster,  and  Wm. 
TV".  Bishop ;  Wm.  Nelson,  United  States  Marshal,  and  the 
Deputies,  Wm.  Stokes,  Franklin  Brown  and  Edward  Keisel. 

The  parties  having  announced  themselves  ready  for  trial,  the 
following  proceedings  were  had  : 

James  R.  Wilkins,  Clerk,  read  the  indictment  against  Lee, 
irnpleaded  with  others,  to  the  jury,  and  stated  the  plea  of  the 

Sumner  Howard  stated  the  case  to  the  jury,  on  behalf  of  the 

William  W.  Bishop  stated  the  case  for  the  defendant. 

On  motion  of  Sumner  Howard,  the  court  appointed  A.  S. 
Patterson,  Esq.,  as  official  court  reporter  in  the  trial  of  this 
cause,  when  the  following  proceedings  were  had: 


MR.  HOWARD  :  If  the  Court  please,  I  now  propose  to  offer  in  evi- 
dence the  deposition  of  Brigham  Young ;  also  the  affidavit  of  Geo. 
A.  Smith  ;  also  a  letter  written  by  John  D.  Lee  to  Brigham  Young ; 
also  the  report  of  Brigham  Young  to  the  Department  of  Indian 
Affairs,  and  also  the  proclamation  of  Brigham  Young.  These 
papers  have  been  submitted  to  the  attorneys  for  the  defense, 
and  they  consent  to  their  introduction.  I  now  file  them  and 
place  them  in  evidence  to  save  time. 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  303 

MR.  BISHOP  :  May  it  please  your  Honor,  while  we  deny  that 
•these  documents  are  legal  evidence  of  the  fact  in  the  indictment 
as  charged,  we  still  consent  to  the  same  being  introduced, 
because  we  once  came  so  near  being  placed  in  jail  for  offering 
the  same  papers,  especially  the  deposition  of  Brigham  Young 
and  the  affidavit  of  George  A.  Smith,  as  evidence  at  the  former 
trial  of  this  defendant.  We  wish  to  see  what  lengths  the  prose- 
cution will  go  in  this  court,  to  convict  the  defendant  on  trial  by 
law  or  without  law.  Our  opinions  as  lawyers  were  against  the 
admission  of  the  evidence,  but  our  client  insists  that  the  evidence 
•be  admitted.  Contrary  to  our  best  judgment,  we  have  con- 
sented. Let  the  evidence  go  in,  and  with  it  all  besides  that 
the  authorities  of  the  Church  at  Salt  Lake  City  have  unearthed 
for  the  perusal  of  our  Brother  Howard.  We  now  know  we  are 
fighting  the  indictment,  and  also  the  secret  forces  and  powers  of 
the  Mormon  Church. 

Mr.  Howard  then  introduced  the  following  documentary 
-evidence : 

TERRITORY  OF  UTAH,          ) 

BEAVER  COUNTY.      j  s  ' 

In  tfie  Second  Judicial  District  Court. 
The  People,  etc. 

vs.  \  Indictment  for  Murder. 

John  D.  Lee,  Wm.  H.  Dame,        (  September  16th,  1875. 
Isaac  C.  Haight,  et  al. 

Questions  to  be  propounded  to  Brigham  Young  on  his  exam- 
ination as  a  witness  in  the  case  of  Jolin  D.  Lee  and  others,  on 
trial  at  Beaver  City,  this  30th  day  of  July,  1875,  and  the 
answers  of  Brigham  Young  to  the  interrogatives  hereto  ap- 
pended, were  reduced  to  writing,  and  were  given  after  the  said 
Brigham  Young  had  been  duly  sworn  to  testify  the  truth  in  the 
above  entitled  cause,  and  are  as  follows: 

First — State  your  age,  and  the  present  condition  of  your 
health,  and  whether  in  its  condition  you  could  travel  to  attend 
in  person,  at  Beaver,  the  court  now  sitting  there?  If  not,  state 
why  not. 

Answer — To  the  first  interrogatory,  he  saith : 

I  am  in  my  seventy-fifth  year.  It  would  be  a  great  risk,  both 
to  my  health  and  life,  for  me  to  travel  to  Beaver  at  this  present 
time.  I  am,  and  have  been  for  some  time,  an  invalid. 

Second — What  offices,  either  ecclesiastical,  civil,  or  military, 
did  you  hold  in  the  year  1857? 


Answer — I  was  the  Governor  of  this  Territory,  and  ex-officio- 
Superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs,  and  the  President  of  the  Church 
of  Jesus  Christ  of  Latter-Day  Saints  ,  during  the  year  1857. 

Third — State  the  condition  of  affairs  between  the  Territory  of 
Utah  and  the  Federal  Government,  in  the  Summer  and  Fall  of 

Answer — In  May  or  June,  1857,  the  United  States  mails  for 
Utah  were  stopped  by  the  Government,  and  all  communication 
by  mail  was  cut  off,  an  army  of  the  United  States  was  en  route 
for  Utah,  with  the  ostensible  design  of  destroying  the  Latter- 
Day  Saints,  according  to  the  reports  that  reached  us  from  the 

Fourth — Were  there  any  United  States  Judges  here  during  the 
Summer  and  Fall  of  1857? 

Answer^-To  the  best  of  my  recollection  there  was  no  United 
States  Judge  here  in  the  latter  part  of  1857. 

Fifth — State  what  you  know  about  trains  of  emigrants  passing 
through  the  Territory  to  the  West,  and  particularly  about  a  com- 
pany from  Arkansas,  en  route  for  California,  passing  through 
this  city  in  the  Summer  or  Fall  of  1857? 

Answer — As  usual,  emigrants'  trains  were  passing  through 
our  Territory  for  the  West.  I  heard  it  rumored  that  a  company 
from  Arkansas,  en  route  to  California,  had  passed  through  the 

Sixth — Was  this  Arkansas  company  of  emigrants  ordered  away 
from  Salt  Lake  City  by  yourself  or  any  one  in  authority  under 

Answer — No,  not  that  I  know  of.  I  never  heard  of  any 
such  thing,  and  certainly  no  such  order  was  given  by  the  acting 

Seventh — Was  any  counsel  or  instructions  given  by  any  per- 
son to  the  citizens  of  Utah  not  to  sell  grain  or  trade  with  the 
emigrant  trains  passing  through  Utah  at  that  time  ?  If  so,  what 
were  those  instructions  and  counsel? 

Answer — Yes,  counsel  and  advice  were  given  to  the  citizens 
not  to  sell  grain  to  the  emigrants  to  feed  their  stock,  but  to  let 
them  have  sufficient  for  themselves  if  they  were  out.  The  sim- 
ple reason  for  this  was  that  for  several  years  our  crops  had  been 
short,  and  the  prospect  was  at  that  time  that  we  might  have  trouble 
with  the  United  States  army,  then  ei?  route  for  this  place,  and  we 
wanted  to  preserve  the  grain  for  food.  The  citizens  of  the  Ter- 

TEIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  305 

ritory  were  counseled  not  to  feed  grain  to  their  own  stock.  No 
person  was  ever  punished  or  called  in  question  for  furnishing 
supplies  to  the  emigrants,  within  my  knowledge. 

Eighth — When  did  you  first  hear  of  the  attack  and  destruc- 
tion of  this  Arkansas  company  at  Mountain  Meadows,  in  Sep- 
tember, 1857? 

Answer — I  did  not  learn  anything  of  the  attack  or  destruction 
of  the  Arkansas  company  until  some  time  after  it  occurred — 
then  only  by  floating  rumor. 

Ninth — Did  John  D.  Lee  report  to  you  at  any  time  after  this 
massacre  what  had  been  done  at  that  massacre,  and  if  so,  what 
did  you  reply  to  him  in  reference  thereto? 

Answer — Within  some  two  or  three  months  after  the  massacre 
he  called  at  my  office  and  had  much  to  say  with  regard  to  the 
Indians,  their  being  stirred  up  to  anger  and  threatening  the  set- 
tlements of  the  whites,  and  then  commenced  giving  an  account 
of  the  massacre.  I  told  him  to  stop,  a&  from  what  I  had  already 
heard  by  rumor,  I  did  not  wish  my  feelings  harrowed  up  with  a 
recital  of  detail. 

Tenth — Did  Philip  Klingensmith  call  at  your  office  with  John 
D.  Lee  at  the  time  Lee  made  his  report,  and  did  you  at  that 
time  order  Smith  to  turn  over  the  stock  to  Lee,  and  order  them 
not  to  talk  about  the  massacre  ? 

Answer — No.  He  did  not  call  with  John  D.  Lee,  and  I  have 
no  recollection  of  his  ever  speaking  to  me  nor  I  to  him  con- 
cerning the  massacre  or  anything  pertaining  to  the  property. 

Eleventh — Did  you  ever  give  any  directions  concerning  the 
property  taken  from  the  emigrants  at  the  Mountain  Meadows 
Massacre,  or  know  anything  as  to  its  disposition? 

Answer — No,  I  never  gave  any  directions  concerning  the 
property  taken  from  the  company  of  emigrants  at  the  Mountain 
Meadows  Massacre,  nor  did  I  know  anything  of  that  property, 
or  its  disposal,  and  I  do  not  to  this  day,  except  from  public  ru- 

Twelfth — Why  did  you  not,  as  Governor,  institute  proceed- 
ings forthwith  to  investigate  that  massacre,  and  bring  the  guilty 
authors  thereof  to  justice? 

Answer — Because  another  Governor,  had  been  appointed  by 

the  President  of  the  United  States,  and  was  then  on  the  way  to 

take  my  place,  and  I  did  not  know  how  soon  he  might  arrive, 

and  because  the  United  States  Judges  were  not  in  the  Territory. 



Soon  after  Governor  Cummings  arrived,  I  asked  him  to  take 
Judge  Cradelbaugh,  who  belonged  to  the  Southern  District, 
with  him,  and  I  would  accompany  them  with  sufficient  aid  to  in- 
vestigate the  matter  and  bring  the  offenders  to  justice. 

Thirteenth — Did  you,  about  the  10th  of  September,  1857,  re- 
ceive a  communication  from  Isaac  C.  Haight,  or  any  other  per- 
son of  Cedar  City,  concerning  a  company  of  emigrants  called 
the  Arkansas  company? 

Answer — I  did  receive  a  communication  from  Isaac  C.  Haight, 
or  John  D.  Lee,  who  was  a  farmer  for  the  Indians. 

Fourteenth — Have  you  that  communication? 

Answer — I  have  not.  I  have  made  diligent  search  for  it,  but 
cannot  find  it. 

Fifteenth — Did  you  answer  that  communication? 

Answer — I  did,  to  Isaac  C.  Haight,  who  was  then  acting  Pres- 
ident at  Cedar  City. 

Sixteenth — Will  you  state  the  substance  of  your  letter  to 

Answer — Yes.  It  was  to  let  this  company  of  emigrants,  and 
all  companies  of  emigrants,  pass  through  the  country  unmolest- 
ed, and  to  allay  the  angry  feelings  of  the  Indians  as  much  as 

(Signed)  BRIGHAM  YOUNG. 

Subscribed  and  sworn  to  before  me  this  30th  day  of  July,  A. 
D.  1875. 

[L.  S.]  WM.  CLAYTON, 

Notary  Public. 

Beaver  County,  ) 

In  the  Second  Judicial  District  Court  of  the  Territory  of  Utah. 

The  People,  Etc.,  vs.  \ 

John  D.  Lee,  Win.  H.  Dame,  Isaac  >  ss. 
C.  Haight,  et  aZ.,  Salt  Lake  Co.         ) 
'Indictment  for  murder,  committed  September  16,  1857. 
George  A.  Smith  having  been  first  duly  sworn,  deposes  and 
says  that  he  is  aged  fifty-eight  years.     That  he  is  now  and  has 
been  for  several  months  suffering  from  a  severe  and  dangerous 
illness  of  the  head  and  lungs,  and   that  to  attend  the  court  at 
Beaver,  in  the  present  condition  of  his  health,  would  in  all  prob- 
ability end  his  life. 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN'  D.  LEE.  307 

Deponent  further  saith,  that  he  had  no  military  command 
•during  the  year  1857,  nor  any  other  official  position,  except  that 
of  one  of  the  Twelve  Apostles  of  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of 
Latter-Day  Saints. 

Deponent  further  saith,  that  he  never  in  the  year  1857,  at 
Parowan  or  elsewhere,  attended  a  council  where  Wm.  H.  Dame, 
Isaac  C.  Haight  or  others  were  present  to  discuss  any  measures 
for  attacking,  or  in  any  manner  injuring  an  emigrant  train  from 
Arkansas  or  any  other  place,  which  is  alleged  to  have  been 
•destroyed  at  Mountain  Meadows  in  September,  1857. 

Deponent  further  saith,  that  he  never  heard  or  knew  anything 
•of  a  train  of  emigrants,  which  he  learned  afterwards  by  rumor 
was  from  Arkansas,  until  he  met  said  train  at  Corn  Creek  on  his 
way  north  to  Salt  Lake  City,  on  or  about  the  25th  day  of  August, 

Deponent  further  saith,  that  he  encamped  with  Jacob  Hamblin, 
Philo  T.  Farnsworth,  Silas  S.  Smith  and  Elijah  Hoops,  and  there 
for  the  first  time  he  learned  of  the  existence  of  said  emigrant 
train,  and  their  intended  journey  to  California. 

Deponent  further  saith,  that  having  been  absent  from  the 
Territory  for  a  year  previous,  he  returned  in  the  Summer  of  1857, 
and  went  south  to  visit  his  family  at  Parowan,  and  to  look  after 
some  property  he  had  there,  and  also  visit  his  friends,  and  for  no 
other  purpose,  and  that  on  leaving  Salt  Lake  City  he  had  no 
knowledge  whatsoever  of  the  existence  of  said  emigrant  train, 
nor  did  he  acquire  any  until  as  before  stated. 

Deponent  further  saith,  that  as  an  Elder  in  the  Church  of 
Jesus  Christ  of  Latter-Day  Saints,  he  preached  several  times  on 
his  way  south,  and  also  on  his  return,  and  tried  to  impress  upon 
the  minds  of  the  people  the  necessity  of  great  care  as  to  their 
grain  crops,  as  all  crops  had  been  short  for  several  years  pre- 
vious to  1857,  and  many  of  the  people  were  reduced  to  actual 
want  and  were  suffering  for  the  necessaries  of  life. 

Deponent  further  saith,  that  he  advised  the  people  to  furnish 
all  emigrant  companies  passing  through  the  Territory  with  what 
they  might  actually  need  for  breadstuff,  for  the  support  of  them- 
selves and  families  while  passing  through  the  Territory,  and  also 
advised  the  people  not  to  feed  their  grains  to  their  own  stock, 
nor  to  sell  to  the  emigrants  for  that  purpose. 

Deponent  further  saith,  that  he  never  heard  or  knew  of  any 
attack  upon  said  emigrant  train  until  some  time  after  his  return 


to  Salt  Lake  City,  and  that  while  near  Fort  Bridger  he  heard' 
for  the  first  time  that  the  Indians  had  massacred  an  emigrant 
company  at  Mountain  Meadows. 

Deponent  further  saith,  that  he  never  at  any  time,  either 
before  or  after  that  massacre,  was  accessory  thereto ;  that  he 
never  directly  or  indirectly  aided,  abetted  or  assisted  in  its 
perpetration,  or  had  any  knowledge  thereof,  except  by  hearsay  ; 
that  he  never  knew  anything  of  the  distribution  of  the  property 
taken  there,  except  by  hearsay  as  aforesaid. 

Deponent  further   saith,  that  all   charges   and  statements  as 
pertaining  to  him  contrary  to  the  above  are  false  and  untrue. 
(Signed,)  GEO.  A.  SMITH. 

Subscribed  and  sworn  to  before  me  this  30th  day  of  July,  A». 
D.  1875. 

(Signed,)  WM.  CLAYTON, 

[L.  S.]  Notary  Public. 



We  are  invaded  by  a  hostile  force,  who  are  evidently  assailing- 
us  to  accomplish  our  overthrow  and  destruction. 

For  the  last  twenty-five  years  we  have  trusted  officials  of  the 
Government,  from  Constables  and  Justices  to  Judges,  Governors 
and  Presidents,  only  to  be  scorned,  held  in  derision,  insulted 
and  betrayed.  Our  houses  have  been  plundered  and  then 
bui'ned,  our  fields  laid  waste,  our  principal  men  butchered  while 
under  the  pleged  faith  of  the  Government  for  their  safety,  and 
our  families  driven  from  their  homes  to  find  that  shelter  in 
the  barren  wilderness,  and  that  protection  among  hostile  sav- 
ages, which  were  denied  them  in  the  boasted  abodes  of  Chris- 
tianity and  civilization. 

The  constitution  of  our  common  country  guarantees  unto  us 
all  that  we  do  now  or  ever  claimed. 

If  the  constitutional  rights,  which  pertain  unto  us  as  Amer- 
ican citizens,  were  extended  to  Utah,  according  to  the  spirit  and 
meaning  thereof,  and  fairly  and  impartially  administered,  it  is 
all  that  we  could  ask. 

Our  opponents  have  availed  themselves  of  prejudices  existing 
against  us,  because  of  our  religious  faith,  to  send  out  a  formi- 
dable host  to  accomplish  our  destruction.  We  have  had  no  priv- 
ilege, no  opportunity  of  defending  ourselves  from  the  false,  foul 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  309 

-.and  unjust  aspersions  against  us  before  the  Nation.  The  Gov- 
•ernment  has  not  condescended  to  cause  an  investigating  com- 
mittee or  other  person  to  be  sent  to  enquire  into  and  ascertain  the 
truth,  as  is  customary  in  such  cases.  We  know  those  aspersions 
to  be  false,  but  that  avails  us  nothing.  We  are  condemned 
unheard,  and  forced  to  an  issue  with  an  armed  mercenary  mob, 
which  has  been  sent  against  us  at  the  instigation  of  anonymous 
letter  writers,  ashamed  to  father  the  base,  slanderous  falsehoods 
which  they  have  given  to  the  public ;  of  corrupt  officials  who 
ihave  brought  false  accusations  against  us,  to  screen  themselves 
in  their  own  infamy ;  and  of  hireling  priests  and  howling  editors, 
•who  prostitute  the  truth  for  filthy  lucres'  sake. 

The  issue  which  has  been  thus  forced  upon  us  compels  us  to 
Tesort  to  the  great  first  law  of  self-preservation,  and  stand  in  our 
•own  defence,  a  right  guaranteed  unto  us  by  the  genius  of  the  insti- 
tutions of  our  country,  and  upon  which  the  Government  is  based. 

Our  duty  to  our  families  requires  us  not  to  tamely  submit  to 
be  driven  and  slain  without  an  attempt  to  preserve  ourselves. 
Our  duty  to  our  country,  our  holy  religion,  our  God,  to  freedom 
and  liberty,  requires  that  we  should  not  quietly  stand  still  and 
see  those  fetters  forging  around,  which  are  calculated  to  enslave 
and  bring  us  into  subjection  to  an  unlawful  military  despotism, 
such  as  can  only  emanate  (in  a  country  of  constitutional  law) 
from  usurpation,  tyranny  and  oppression. 

Therefore,  I,  Brigham  Young,  Governor  and  Superintendent 
of  Indian  Affairs  for  the  Territory  of  Utah,  in  the  name  of  the 
people  of  the  United  Siates  in  the  Territory  of  Utah, 

First — Forbid  all  armed  forces  of  every  description  from 
coming  into  this  Territory,  under  any  pretence  whatever. 

Second — That  all  the  forces  in  said  Territory  hold  themselves 
in  readiness  to  march  at  a  moment's  notice,  to  repel  any  and  all 
^such  invasion. 

Third — Martial  law  is  hereby  declared  to  exist  in  this  Terri- 
tory, from  and  after  the  publication  of  this  Proclamation ;  and 
no  person  shall  be  allowed  to  pass  or  repass,  into  or  through,  or 
from  this  Territory  without  a  permit  from  the  proper  officer. 

Given  under  my  hand  and  seal  at  Great  Salt  Lake  City, 
Territory  of  Utah,  this  fifteenth  day  of  September,  A.  D.  eigh- 
teen hundred  and  fifty-seven,  and  of  the  Independence  of  the 
United  States  of  America,  the  eighty-second. 

(Signed)  BRIGHAM  YOUNG. 


The  letter  and  report  of  John  D.  Lee  to  Brigham  Young,  in 
regard  to  the  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre,  were  here  intro- 
duced as  evidence.  (See  pages  255  and  256.) 


September  12,  1857.      J 

HON.    JAMES   W.    DENVER,    Commissioner   of    Indian    Affairs^ 
Washington,  D.  C.  : 

SIR — Enclosed  please  find  abstract  account  current  and 
vouchers  from  1  to  35,  inclusive,  (also  abstract  of  employes) 
for  the  current  quarter  up  to  this  date,  as  owing  to  the  stoppage 
of  the  mail  I  have  deemed  it  best  to  avail  myself  of  the  oppor- 
tunity of  sending  by  private  conveyance,  not  knowing  when  I 
may  have  another  chance.  The  expenditures,  as  you  will  ob- 
serve by  the  papers,  amount  to  $6,411.38,  for  \vhich  I  have 
drawn  my  drafts  on  the  department,  favor  of  Hon.  John  M. 
Bernhisel,  Delegate  to  Congress  from  this  Territory.  You  will 
also  observe  that  a  portion  of  those  expenditures  accrued, 
which  may  need  a  word  of  explanation.  Santa  Clara  is  in 
Washington  County,"  the  extreme  southern  county  of  this  Terri- 
tory, and  this  labor  was  commenced  and  partly  performed, 
seeds,  grain,  etc.,  furnished  prior  to  the  time  that  Major  Arm- 
strong visited  those  parts  of  the  Territory,  hence  failed  to  find 
its  way  into  his  reports,  and  failed  being  included  in  mine  be- 
cause the  accounts  and  vouchers  were  not  sooner  brought  in, 
and  hence  not  settled  until  recently.  But  little  has  been  effect- 
ed in  that  part  of  the  Territory  at  the  expense  of  the  Govern- 
ment, although  much  has  been  done  by  the  citizens  in  aiding 
the  Indians  with  tools,  teams  and  instructions  in  cultivating  the 

The  bands  mentioned  are  parts  of  the  Piede  tribe  of  Indians, 
who  are  very  numerous,  but  only  inhabit  this  Territory.  These 
Indians  are  more  easily  induced  to  labor  than  any  others  in  the 
Territory,  and  many  of  them  are  now  engaged  in  the  common 
pursuits  of  civilized  life.  Their  requirements  are  constant  for 
wagons,  ploughs,  spades,  hoes,  teams  and  harness,  etc.,  to  ena- 
ble them  to  work  to  advantage. 

In  like  manner  the  Indians  in  Cache  Valley  have  received  but 
little  at  the  expense  of  the  Government,  although  a  sore  tax 
upon  the  people.  West  and  along  the  line  of  the  California  and 
Oregon  travel  the}-  continue  to  make  their  contributions,  and  I 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  311 

am  sorry  to  add,  with  considerable  loss  of  life  to  the  travelers. 
This  is  what  I  have  always  sought,  by  all  means  in  my  power,  to 
avert,  but  I  find  it  the  most  difficult  of  any  portion  to  control. 
I  have  for  many  years  succeeded  better  than  this.  I  leai-n  by 
report  that  many  of  the  lives  of  the  emigrants  and  considerable 
quantities  of  property  have  been  taken. 

This  is  principally  owing  to  a  company  of  some  three  or  four 
hundred  returning  Californians,  who  traveled  those  roads  last 
Spring  to  the  Eastern  States,  shooting  at  every  Indian  they 
could  see,  a  practice  utterly  abhorrent  to  all  good  people,  yet,  I 
regret  to  say,  one  that  has  been  indulged  in  to  a  great  extent  by 
travelers  to  and  from  the  Eastern  States  and  California,  hence 
the  Indians  regard  all  white  men  alike  as  their  enemies,  and  kill 
and  plunder  whenever  they  can  do  so  with  impunity,  and  often 
the  innocent  suffer  for  the  deeds  of  the  guilty. 

This  has  always  been  one  of  the  greatest  difficulties  that  I  have 
had  to  contend  with  in  the  administration  of  Indian  affairs  in 
this  Territory. 

It  is  hard  to  make  an  Indian  believe  that  the  whites  are  their 
friends,  and  that  the  Great  Father  wishes  to  do  them  good,  when 
perhaps  the  very  next  party  which  crosses  their  path  shoots 
them  down  like  wolves. 

This  trouble  with  the  Indians  only  exists  along  the  line  of 
travel  west,  and  beyond  the  influence  of  our  settlements.  The 
Shoshones  are  not  hostile  to  travelers  as  far  as  they  inhabit  this 
Territory,  except  perhaps  a  few  called  "Snake  Diggers,"  who 
inhabit,  as  before  stated,  along  the  line  of  travel  west  of  the 

There  have,  however,  been  more  or  less  depredations  the  pres- 
ent season  north,  and  more  within  the  vicinity  of  the  settle- 
ments, owing  to  the  causes  above  mentioned,  and  I  find  it  of  the 
utmost  difficulty  to  restrain  them.  The  sound  of  war  quickens 
the  blood  and  nerves  of  an  Indian.  The  reports  that  troops 
were  wending  their  way  to  this  Territory  has  also  had  its  influ- 
ence upon  them.  In  one  or  two  instances  this  was  the  reason 
assigned  why  they  made  the  attack  which  they  did  upon  some 
herds  of  cattle.  They  seemed  to  think  that  as  it  was  to  be  war 
they  might  as  well  commence,  and  begin  to  lay  in  a  supply  of 
food  while  they  had  a  chance. 

If  I  am  to  have  the  direction  of  the  Indian  affairs  of  this  Ter- 
ritory, aud  expected  to  maintain  friendly  relations  with  the  In- 


dians,  there  are  a  few  things  that  I  would  most  respectfully  re- 
quest to  be  done. 

First — That  travelers  omit  their  infamous  practice  of  shooting 
them  down  when  they  happen  to  see  one.  Whenever  the  citi- 
zens of  this .  Territory  travel  the  road  they  are  in  the  habit  of 
giving  the  Indians  food,  tobacco  and  a  few  other  presents,  and 
the  Indians  expect  some  such  trifling  favors,  and  they  are  em- 
boldened by  this  practice  to  come  up  to  the  road  with  a  view  of 
receiving  such  presents.  When,  therefore,  travelers  from  the 
States  make  their  appearance,  they  throw  themselves  in  sight 
with  the  same  view,  and  when  they  are  shot  at  and  some  of  their 
numbers  killed,  as  has  frequently  been  the  case,  we  cannot  but 
expect  them  to  wreak  their  vengeance  upon  the  next  train. 

Secondly — That  the  Government  should  make  more  liberal  ap- 
propriations to  be  expended  in  presents.  I  have  proven  that  it 
is  far  cheaper  to  feed  and  clothe  the  Indians  than  to  fight  them. 
I  find,  moreover,  that  after  all,  when  the  fighting  is  over,  it  is  al- 
ways followed  by  extensive  presents,  which,  if  properly  distrib- 
uted in  the  first  instance,  might  have  averted  the  fight.  In  this 
case,  then,  the  expenses  of  presents  are  the  same,  and  it  is  true 
in  nine-tenths  of  the  cases  that  have  happened. 

Third — The  troops  must  be  kept  awajr,  for  it  is  a  prevalent 
fact  that,  wherever  there  are  the  most  of  these,  we  may  expect 
to  find  the  greatest  amount  of  hostile  Indians  and  the  least  se- 
curity to  persons  and  property. 

If  these  items  could  be  complied  with  I  have  no  hesitation  in 
sa3Ting  that,  so  far  as  Utah  is  concerned,  travelers  could  go  to 
and  from,  pass  and  repass,  and  no  Indian  would  disturb  or  mo- 
lest them  or  their  property. 

In  regard  to  my  drafts,  it  appears  that  the  department  is  indis- 
posed to  pay  them,  for  what  reason  I  am  at  a  loss  to  conjec- 

I  am  aware  that  Congress  separated  the  office  of  Superinten- 
dent of  Indian  Affairs  from  that  of  Governor ;  that  the  salary  of 
Governor  remained  the  same  for  his  Gubernatorial  duties,  and 
that  the  Superintendent's  was  fifteen  hundred.  I  do  think  that, 
inasmuch  as  I  performed  the  duties  of  both  offices,  that  I  am 
entitled  to  the  pay  appropriated  for  it,  and  trust  that  you  will  so 
consider  it. 

I  have  drawn  again  for  the  expenditure  of  this  present  quar- 
ter as  above  set  forth.  Of  course  you  will  do  as  you  please 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.   LEE.  313 

about  paying,  as  you  have  with  the  drafts  for  the  two  last  quar- 

The  department  has  often  manifested  its  approval  of  the  man- 
agement of  tlio  Indian  affairs  in  this  Superintendency,  and  never 
Its  disappro\al 

Why,  then,  should  I  be  subjected  to  such  annoyance  in  re- 
gard to  obtaining  the  funds  for  defraying  its  expenses?  Why 
should  I  be  denied  my  salary?  Why  should  appropriations  made 
for  the  benefit  of  the  Indians  of  this  Territory  be  retained  in  the 
Treasury,  and  individuals  left  unpaid  ? 

These  are  questions  I  leave  for  you  to  answer  at  your  leisure, 
.and  meanwhile  submit  to  such  course  in  relation  thereto  as  you 
shall  see  fit  to  direct. 

I  have  the  honor  to  be,  mpst  respectfully, 

Your  obedient  servant, 

(Signed)  BKIGHAM  YOUNG. 

Governor  and  Ex-Officio  Superintendent  of  Indian  Affairs,  U.  T. 

Certified  to  by  JAMES  JACK,  Notray  Public  of  Utah  Territory, 
at  Salt  Lake  City,  August  15th,  1876. 


The  following  is  an  abstract  from  a  letter  under  heading  and 
•date  as  follows : 

G.  S.  L.  CITY,  U.  T.,  January  6,  1858.    } 

HON.    JAMES    W.    DENVER,    Commissioner    of   Indian   Affairs, 

Washington  City,  D.  C. : 

SIR:  On  or  about  the  middle  of  last  September  a  company 
of  emigrants  traveling  the  southern  route  to  California,  poisoned 
the  meat  of  an  ox  that  died,  and  gave  it  to  the  Indians  to  eat, 
causing  the  immediate  death  of  four  of  their  tribe,  and  poisoning 
several  others.  This  company  also  poisoned  the  water  where 
they  were  encamped.  This  occurred  at  Corn  Creek,  fifteen 
miles  south  of  Fillmore  City.  This  conduct  so  enraged  the 
Indians,  that  they  immediately  took  measures  for  revenge.  I 
quote  from  a  letter  written  to  me  by  John  D.  Lee,  farmer  to  the 
Indians  in  Iron  and  Washington  counties.  "About  the  22d  of 
September,  Capt.  Fancher  &  Co.  fell  victims  to  the  Indians' 
wrath  near  Mountain  Meadows.  Their  cattle  and  horses  were 
shot  down  in  ever}r  direction ;  their  wagons  and  property  mostly 
•committed  to  the  flames."  Lamentable  as  this  case  truly  is,  it  is 


only  the  natural  consequence  of  that  fatal  policy  which  treats; 
the  Indians  like  the  wolves,  or  other  ferocious  beasts.  I  have 
vainly  remonstrated  for  years  with  travelers  against  pursuing  so 
suicidal  a  policy,  and  repeatedly  advised  the  Government  of  its 
fatal  tendency.  It  is  not  always  upon  the  heads  of  the  indi- 
viduals who  commit  such  crimes  that  such  condign  punishment 
is  visited,  but  more  frequently  the  next  company  that  follows  in 
their  fatal  path  become  the  unsuspecting  victims,  though  perad- 
venture  perfectly  innocent.  Of  this  character  was  the  massacre 
of  Capt.  Gunnison  and  party  in  1853.  He  was  friendly  and. 
unsuspecting,  but  the  emigrant  company  that  immediately  pre- 
ceded him  had  committed  a  most  flagrant  act  of  injustice  and 
murder  upon  the  Indians,  escaped  unscathed,  causing  the  savage 
feeling  and  vengeance  which  they  had  so  wontonly  provoked  to 
be  poured  upon  the  head  of  the  lamented  Gunnison.  Owing  to 
these  causes,  the  Indians  upon  the  main  traveled  roads  leading 
from  this  Territory  to  California  have  become  quite  hostile,  so 
that  it  has  become  quite  impossible  for  a  company  of  emigrants 
to  pass  in  safety.  The  citizens  of  the  Territory  have  frequently 
compromised  their  own  safety  and  other  peaceful  relations,  by 
interfering  in  behalf  of  travelers ;  nor  can  they  be  expected  to 
be  otherwise  than  hostile,  so  long  as  the  traveling  community 
persist  in  the  practice  of  indiscriminately  shooting  and  poisoning 
them,  as  above  set  forth.  In  all  other  parts  of  the  Territory, 
except  along  the  north  and  south  routes  to  California,  as  above 
mentioned,  the  Indians  are  quiet  and  peaceful.  It  is  owing  to 
the  disturbed  state  of  our  Indian  affairs  that  the  accounts  of  this 
quarter  have  been  so  considerably  augmented.  It  has  always 
been  my  policy  to  conciliate  the  native  tribes  by  making  them 
presents  and  treating  them  kindty,  considering  it  much  more 
economical  to  feed  and  clothe  them  than  to  fight  them.  I  have 
the  satisfaction  of  knowing  that  this  policy  has  been  most 
eminently  successful  and  advantageous,  not  only  to  the  settle- 
ments, but  to  the  Government,  as  well  as  to  the  emigrants  and. 
travelers.  But  the  most  uniform,  judicious  and  humane  course 
will  sometimes  fail  in  holding  ignorant,  wild  and  revengeful 
Indians  by  the  wrist,  to  be  indiscriminately  murdered.  We 
trust,  henceforward,  such  scenes  may  not  be  re-enacted,  and  the 
existing  bad  feeling  among  the  native  tribes  may  become  extin- 
guished by  a  uniform,  consistent,  humane  and  conciliatory  course 
of  superior  acts,  by  those  who  profess  superior  attainments. 

TKIJ.L  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  315' 

Respectfully,    I   have   the   honor   to   remain   your   obedient 
servant,  BRIGHAM  YOUNG, 

Gov.  and  Supt.  of  Indian  Affairs,  U.  T. 

Certified  as  correct  by  James  Jack,  Notary  Public  of  Utah 
Territory,  at  Salt  Lake  City,  August  15,  1876. 

The  following  circular,  issued  by  Brigham  Young  and  Daniel 
H.  Wells,  was  then  read  in  evidence : 

Sept.  14th,  1857. '  J 
COL.  WILLIAM  H.  DAME,  Parowan,  Iron  County : 

Herewith  you  will  receive  the  Governor's  proclamation  declar- 
ing martial  law. 

You  will  probably  not  be  called  out  this  Fall,  but  are  re- 
quested to  continue  to  make  ready  for  a  big  fight  another  year. 
The  plan  of  operations  is  supposed  to  be  about  this.  In  case 
the  United  States  Government  should  send  out  an  overpowering 
force,  we  intend  to  desolate  the  Territory,  and  conceal  our  fami- 
lies, stock  and  all  of  our  effects  in  the  fastnesses  of  the  moun- 
tains where  they  will  be  safe,  while  the  men  waylay  our  ene- 
mies, attack  them  from  ambush,  stampede  their  amimals,  take 
the  supply  trains,  cut  of  detachments  and  parties  sent  to  the 
canyons  for  wood,  or  on  other  service.  To  lay  waste  every 
thing  that  will  burn — houses,  fences,  trees,  fields  and  grass,  so 
that  they  cannot  find  a  particle  of  anything  that  will  be  of  use 
to  them,  not  even  sticks  to  make  a  fire  to  cook  their  supplies. 
To  waste  away  our  enemies  and  lose  none  ;  that  will  be  our  mode 
of  warfare.  Thus  you  see  the  necessity  of  preparing  first ;  secure 
places  in  the  mountains  where  they  cannot  find  us,  or  if  they  do, 
where  they  cannot  approach  in  force,  and  then  prepare  for  our 
families,  building  some  cabins,  caching  flour  and  grain.  Flour 
should  be  ground  in  the  latter  part  of  the  Winter,  or  early  in  the 
Spring  to  keep.  Sow  grain  in  your  fields  as  early  as  possible 
this  Fall,  so  the  harvest  of  another  year  may  come  off  before 
they  have  time  to  get  here.  Conciliate  the  Indians  and  make 
them  our  fast  friends. 

In  regard  to  letting  the  people  pass  or  repass,  or  travel 
through  the  Territory,  this  applies  to  all  strangers  and  suspected 
persons.  Yourself  and  Brother  Isaac  C.  Haight,  in  your  dis- 
trict, are  authorized  to  give  such  permits.  Examine  all  such 
persons  before  giving  to  them  permits  to  pass.  Keep  things  per- 
fectly qujet,  and  let  all  things  be  done  peacefully,  but  with  firm- 


ness,  and  let  there  be  no  excitement.  Let  the  people  be  united 
in  their  feelings  and  faith,  as  well  as  works,  and  keep  alive  the 
spirit  of  the  reformation.  And  what  we  said  in  regard  to  sav- 
ing the  grain  and  provisions  we  sa}r  again,  let  there  be  no 
waste.  Save  life  always  when  it  is  possible.  "We  do  not  wish 
to  shed  a  drop  of  blood  if  it  can  be  avoided. 

This  course  will  give  us  great  influence  abroad. 

(Signed,)  (    BRIGHAM  YOUNG. 

i    DANIEL  H.  WELLS. 
Certified  to  under  seal  by  James  Jack,  Notary  Public,  August 

16th,  1876. 



~TT7~HTLE  the  documentary  evidence  was  being  read,  the 
V  V  people,  had  been  gathering  in  large  numbers,  so  much  so 
that  many  were  unable  to  obtain  admission  to  the  court  room, 
to  hear  the  statements  of  the  witnesses. 

It  was  by  this  time  well  understood  by  all  parties,  that  the 
command  of  secrecy,  which  the  Church  had  imposed  on  its  mem- 
bers, had  been  countermanded,  so  far  as  related  to  John  D.  Lee, 
the  defendant  on  trial.  It  was  then  a  certainty  that  the  witnesses 
would  swear  to  as  much  as  the  prosecution  was  willing  to  hear. 
The  result  proved  that  these  surmises  were  correct. 

The  witnesses  for  the  prosecution  were  then  called  and  sworn, 
after  which  they  testified  in  the  order  and  language  as  follows: 



Sworn  for  the  prosecution. 

HOWAKD — How  long  have  you  resided  in  this  Territory? 
Since  the  fall  of  1848. 

Do  you  know  John  D.  Lee?     Yes,  sir. 

Did  you  know  him  in  1857?     Yes,  sir. 

What  position  did  he  occupy  at  that  time — official  position? 
I  don't  know  of  any  position  except  it  was  farmer  to  the  Indians 
in  the  southern  part  of  the  Territory.  He  had  been  a  Major  in 
the  military.  I  don't  remember  whether  he  was  at  that  time  or 
not.  At  that  particular  time,  I  think  not.  I  think  he  had  been 
suspended.  I  wish  to  ask  you  the  question,  What,  from  your 
personal  knowledge,  was  the  influence  of  John  D.  Lee  over  the 
Indians  to  whom  he  had  been  appointed  farmer — was  he  inter- 


preter  also?  Well,  I  think  he  understood  the  language  imper- 
fectly ;  could  probably  converse  with  the  Indians. 

State  if  he  was  a  man  of  influence  with  the  Indians,  a  man 
popular  with  them?  He  was  so  considered. 

Cross  examination  waived. 


Sworn  for  the  prosecution. 

"Where  do  you  reside?  Iron  County,  at  what  is  called  Fort 
Johnson.  How  long  have  you  lived  in  the  Territory?  Since 
1852.  Do  you  know  the  location  of  Mountain  Meadows?  No, 
sir.  I  never  was  there.  Where  did  you  live  in  1857?  I  think  I 
lived  at  Cedar  City.  How  far  is  Cedar  City  from  Beaver? 
About  thirty  miles.  Did  you,  in  1857,  know  an^  thing  about 
an  emigrant  train,  known  as  the  Arkansas  emigrant  train, 
passing  through  the  Territory  to  Southern  California,  or  starting 
to  pass?  By  report  only.  Did  you  have  any  thing  to  do  as  an 
officer  or  citizen,  at  Cedar  City,  with  regard  to  the  passage  of 
those  emigrants?  If  you  did,  state  what  you  know  about  their 
passage,  in  your  own  way.  Merely  by  report,  that  there  was  a 
company  come  through  Cedar  City.  I  lived  off  at  a  place  called 
Fort  Johnson,  six  miles  and  a  half.  I  was  engaged  at  that  time 
some  little  in  seeing  what  was  called  the  best  locality,  or  what 
would  do  the  best  good  for  some  three  or  four  little  places, 
Cedar  City,  Fort  Johnson  and  Shirts'  Creek.  We  had  formed  a 
kind  of  a  custom  to  come  together  about  once  a  week,  to  take 
into  consideration  what  would  be  the  best  good  for  those  three 
places.  I  happened  on  Sunday  to  come  to  Cedar  City,  as  I 
usually  came,  and  there  seemed  to  be  a  Council.  We  met 
together  about  four  o'clock,  as  a  general  thing,  on  Sunday 
evening  after  service.  I  went  into  the  Council,  and  saw  there 
was  a  little  excitement  in  regard  to  something  I  did  not  under- 
stand. I  went  in  at  a  rather  late  hour.  I  enquired  of  the  rest 
what  was  the  matter.  They  said  a  company  had  passed  along 
toward  Mountain  Meadows.  There  were  many  threats  given 
concerning  this  company. 

SPICEK — for  Defendant — We  object  to  these  conversations,  in 
which  the  witness  has  not  shown  that  the  defendant  was  present. 

HOWARD — for  the  People — We  expect  to  connect  Mr.  Lee  with 
it  in  this  way :  We  propose  to  show  that  at  that  council  a  report 
•was  made  that  the  Indians  had  stopped  this  train  of  emigrants, 


TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  319 

or  were  about  to  stop  them ;  and  we  propose  to  show  further 
that  at  that  time,  in  consequence  of  the  condition  of  the  country, 
it  was  claimed  by  some  people  that  they  should  be  held  until  a 
message  could  be  sent  to  Salt  Lake  and  their  passage  secured ; 
that  Mr.  Morrill  appeared  there — others  being  in  favor  of 
stopping  the  emigrants,  and  perhaps  doing  more  than  that.  Mr. 
Morrill  appeared  there  and  insisted  that  no  interference  should 
be  had  with  them  until  orders  came  from  Brigham  Young — from 
head  quarters — and  at  first  insisting  that  they  should  be  allowed 
to  pass  unmolested.  That  the  Indians  should  not  be  allowed  to 
molest  them  if  it  could  be  avoided.  That  they  should  be  pre- 
vented by  all  means  from  interfering  with  them.  Mr.  Morrill 
made  several  speeches  to  that  council  in  favor  of  that  proposi- 
tion, and  that  finally  an  agreement  was  made  that  the  emigrants 
should  not  be  interfered  with,  and  suspend  all  proceedings  in 
regard  to  even  stopping  them  until  a  message  should  come  from 
Brigham  Young.  At  that  time  Brigham  Young  was  not  onhr 
the  President  of  the  Church,  but  Governor  of  the  Territory,  and 
Indian  Agent.  We  propose  to  follow  it  up  by  showing  that  an 
agreement  was  made  and  a  messenger  sent  post-haste  to  Salt 
Lake.  We  propose  to  follow  it  up  by  showing  that  a  messenger 
was  sent  to  see  that  the  Indians  did  not  interfere  with  the  emi- 
grants. We  propose  to  follow  it  up  by  showing  that  John  D. 
Lee  received  that  word.  That  that  was  the  agreement  of  .that 
council,  and  that  he  must  not  allow  those  emigrants  to  be  inter- 
fered with.  That  he  not  only  received  that  word,  but  that  he 
made  the  remark  that  he  had  something  to  say  about  it.  The 
man  who  carried  the  message  was  told  that  he  had  better  get 
out  of  the  way  himself,  or  he  would  get  hurt.  There  has  been 
an  effort  made  to  show  that  others  besides  John  D.  Lee  com- 
menced this  attack.  We  propose  to  show  to  this  jury  that  the 
attack  was  made  in  defiance  of  the  authorities.  That  they  not 
only  held  the  lives  of  those  emigrants  secure ;  were  not  only  anx- 
ious that  they  should  be  allowed  to  pass,  but  that  they  should 
be  protected  from  the  Indians,  in  order  to  show  their  sincerity 
and  do  what  was  right  in  view  of  the  circumstances,  made  a 
solemn  agreement  there  among  themselves  that  the  emigrants 
should  not  be  interfered  with  until  a  dispatch  could  be  sent  to 
Governor  Young  and  returned.  We  propose  to  show  that  that 
dispatch  was  sent  to  Governor  Young  by  that  messenger,  with 
instructions  not  to  spare  horse-flesh,  but  to  ride  there  day  and 


night;  that  before  this  messenger  returned,  John  D.  Lee,  in  de- 
fiance of  that  council,  massacred  the  emigrants. 

SMCER — If  the  gentleman  propose  to  prove  that  Lee  did  any- 
thing contrary  to  the  orders  of  the  Church  Council,  we  will  with- 
draw our  objections.  But  we  know  the  prosecution  will  fail  in 
the  effort.  Lee  did  nothing  that  was  contrary  to  Council,  and 
the  fact  is,  he  obeyed  orders. 

HOWARD — Mr.  Morrill,  the  Court  directs  that  you  state  what 
was  done  at  that  Council? 

Ans. — As  I  said,  there  appeared  to  be  some  confusion  in  that 
Council.  I  enquired  in  a  friendly  way  what  was  up.  I  was 
told  that  there  was  an  emigrant  train  that  passed  along  down  to 
near  Mountain  Meadows,  and  that  they  had  made  threats  in 
regard  to  us  as  a  people — said  they  would  destroy  every  d — d 
Mormon.  There  was  an  army  coming  on  the  south  and  north, 
and  it  created  some  little  excitement.  I  made  two  or  three 
replies  in  a  kind  of  debate  of  measures  that  were  taken  into 
consideration,  discussing  the  object,  what  method  we  thought 
best  to  take  in  regard  to  protecting  the  lives  of  the  citizens. 

My  objections  were  not  coincided  with.  At  last  we  touched 
upon  the  topic  like  this :  We  should  still  keep  quiet,  and  a  dis- 
patch should  be  sent  to  Governor  Young  to  know  what  would 
be  the  best  course.  The  vote  was  unanimous.  I  considered  it 
so.  It  seemed  to  be  the  understanding  that  on  the  coming 
morning,  or  next  day,  there  should  be  a  messenger  dispatched. 
I  took  some  pains  to  enquire  and  know  if  it  would  be  sent  in 
in  the  morning.  The  papers  were  said  to  be  made  out,  and 
Governor  Young  should  be  informed,  and  no  hostile  course  pur- 
sued till  his  return.  I  returned  back  to  Fort  Johnson,  feeling 
that  all  was  well.  About  eight  and  forty  hours  before  the  mes- 
senger returned  —  business  called  me  to  Cedar  City,  and  I 
learned  that  the  job  had  been  done,  that  is,  the  destruction  of 
the  emigrants  had  taken  place.  I  can't  give  any  further  evi- 
dence on  the  subject  at  present. 

What  was   the  name  of  the  messenger  sent  to  Salt  Lake? 
James  Haslem. 

Cross-Examined  by  W.  W.  Bishop. — You  think  that  about 
forty-eight  hours  before  the  messenger  returned  from  Salt 
Lake,  you  learned  that  the  job  was  done,  the  people  killed 
at  Mountain  Meadows.  Do  you  mean  by  that,  the  killing  that 
had  been  talked  of  at  that  Council  ?  I  suppose  it  was,  sir.  Who 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  32 1 

was  present  at  that  Council  that  you  recollect?  Mr.  Smith. 
Give  me  the  name  of  any  there  that  37ou  can  call  to  mind  ?  I 
think  Isaac  C.  Haight  was  there.  Was  John  D.  Lee  present? 
No,  sir,  not  to  my  knowledge.  Did  you  see  that  messenger  start 
to  JBrigham  Young?  I  did  not.  Did  you  see  the  message  that 
he  took  to  Brigham  Young?  I  did  not.  Did  you  ever  read  it? 
I  did  not.  Did  you  know,  or  have  any  knowledge  that  any 
written  communication  was  given  by  the  Council  to  any  one  to 
carry  to  President  Young?  The  understanding  of  the  Council 
was  that  one  should  be  written  out  for  him  prior  to  his  starting. 

Do  you  know  of  your  own  knowledge  that  one  was  written 
out?  I  didn't  see  Mr.  Haight,  but  he  should  have  made  it  out 
in  time.  I  didn't  see  the  paper. 

Then  the  understanding  of  the  Council,  as  I  take  it,  was  this, 
that  different  parties  presented  different  plans  for  having  the 
people  follow  the  emigrants ;  that  after  all  this  argument  it  was 
agreed  by  the  parties  there  that  a  messenger  should  go  to 
Brigham  Young  for  instructions  as  to  how  the  people  should 
treat  the  emigrants  in  that  train,  and  nothing  should  be  done 
with  those  emigrants  until  that  messenger  returned?  That  was 
the  agreement — I  understood  it  so. 

Who  else  did  they  agree  to  send  a  messenger  to  ?  I  heard  of 
no  other  but  Governor  Young.  That  was  my  proposition. 

Then  you  never  heard  of  a  messenger  being  sent  to  any  other 
place,  or  to  any  other  party,  from  that  Council?  No,  I  did  not 
pay  any  attention  to  any  other  point,  or  what  was  considered ; 
only  the  one  point  that  a  messenger  should  go  to  President 

Re-Direct  by  Howard — Did  you  understand  that  a  messenger 
was  to  be  sent  down  to  John  D.  Lee  ?  I  did,  but  I  did  not  see 
him  start.  I  understood  that  at  the  same  time  a  messenger  was 
to  be  sent. 

What  did  you  understand  ?  I  understood  that  there  was  to  be 
word  sent  down  towards  Pinto  Creek. 

For  what  purpose  ?  To  have  the  thing  stayed  according  to 
contract,  to  agreement  made. 

What  do  you  mean  by  the  thing  being  stayed  ?  Was  the 
massacre  of  that  emigrant  train  discussed  there  at  all?  It  was, 
sir ;  and  some  were  in  favor  of  it,  and  some  were  not. 

Who  were  they  ?    Bishop  Smith,  I  considered,  was  the  hardest 
man  I  had  to  contend  with. 


Who  efee  spoke  about  it?  Isaac  Haight  and  one  or  two 
others.  I  recollect  my  companions  more  than  any  one  else. 

They  were  very  anxious  and  rabid  were  they  not?  They 
seemed  to  think  it  would  be  best  to  kill  the  emigrants.  Some 
of  the  emigrants  swore  that  they  had  killed  old  Joseph  Smith ; 
there  was  quite  a  little  excitement  there. 

You  have  given  us  the  names  of  two  who  were  in  favor  of 
killing  those  emigrants  —who  were  the  others  ?  Those  were 
my  companions,  Isaac  C.  Haight  and  Klingensmith.  I  recollect 
no  others. 

You  remember  that  Council,  and  the  agreement  that  they 
would  not  do  anything  until  word  came  back  from  President 
Young?  Yes,  sir. 

Although  you  didn't  see  either  of  those  messengers  start,  you 
understood  messengers  were  sent  each  way  ?  Yes,  sir ;  to  stay 
the  opposition  until  that  messenger  returned. 

Ke-Cross  Examination — You  say  you  understood  a  messenger 
was  to  be  sent  to  Pinto  Creek.  Did  John  D.  Lee  live  at  Pinto 
Creek  ?  He  lived  at  Harmony. 

Was  it  mentioned  in  that  Council  that  a  messenger  was  to  be 
sent  to  Pinto  Creek  to  stay  the  thing  until  the  other  messenger 
got  back?  Understand  me,  there  was  nothing  said  in  that 
Council  in  regard  to  Pinto,  only  that  the  thing  should  be  stayed. 
They  took  such  measures  to  stay  it  as  they  thought  proper. 
After  the  messenger,  Mr.  Haslem,  returned  I  asked  Mr.  Haight 
about  it,  and  he  said  he  had  sent  word  to  let  them  pass,  of 
course.  That  was  the  end  of  my  experience  in  regard  to  it. 

Howard — Where  did  John  D.  Lee  live  at  that  time?  He  lived 
at  Harmony. 

How  far  is  Harmony  from  Pinto  Creek?     I  don't  knovr. 

What  was  his  position  at  that  time  ?  He  was  a  man  of  some 
influence  among  the  Indians,  and  also  held  a  position  in  the 

Was  he  not  Indian  Farmer?  I  think  he  had  done  something 
towards  it.  One  thing  I  passed  over  at  that  Council ;  I  inquir- 
ed by  what  authority  they  were  doing  it,  and  they  said  by  their 
own  authority.  Says  I,  has  Dame  got  a  letter  here ;  is  there 
anything  from  Mr.  Dame  of  Parowan?  They  said  no.  I  de- 
manded a  written  letter  or  order  from  him  before  I  would  act ; 
they  said  they  had  none. 

James    Haslem  testified  that  he  went  as  a  messenger  from 

TEIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  323 

Haight  to  Brigham  Young,  and  that  Brigham  Young  sent  back 
word  that  "those  men  must  be  protected  and  allowed  to  go  in 
peace."  He  got  back  with  the  message  Sunday  after  the  mas- 
sacre, and  reported  to  Haight,  who  said,  "It  is  too  late." 


Sworn  for  the  prosecution. 

Where  did  you  live  in  1857?  I  lived  in  Cedar  City,  Iron 

Do  you  remember  the  Mountain  Meadows  band  of  emigrants  ? 
Yes,  sir. 

Did  you  at  that  time  know  John  D.  Lee?    Yes,  sir. 

And  Klingensmith?    Yes,  sir. 

Were  you  ever  entrusted  by  anybody  with  a  message  to  John 
D.  Lee,  or  to  any  other  person?  No,  sir,  not  to  John  D.  Le  e. 
During  the  delivery  of  which  you  met  John  D.  Lee?  Yes,  sir. 
I  was  away  from  home  at  the  time  the  emigrants  passed  through 
Cedar  City.  I  came  home  just  before  night.  I  can't  recollect 
the  day  or  date,  nor  anything  of  that  kind ;  but  Mr.  Haight 
called  me  as  I  was  passing,  and  said  he  wanted  a  message  taken 
to  Pinto  Creek,  and  wanted  to  know  if  I  would  go.  I  asked  if  it 
had  to  go  to-night.  He  said  it  had,  that  the  emigrants  would 
pass  Pinto  to-morrow.  He  told  me  the  nature  of  the  dispatch. 
It  was  to  the  man  in  charge  there  at  Pinto,  to  pacify  the  Indians 
if  possible,  and  let  the  emigrants  pass.  Klingensmith  was  stand- 
ing by  and  volunteered  to  go  with  me,  and  I  accepted  bis  com- 

Did  you  start  with  that  message  ?     Yes,  sir. 

Tell  what  occurred.  When  I  got  down  to  the  lower  corner  of 
the  field,  after  we  had  started,  probably  a  mile  and  a  half,  or 
such  matter,  I  don't  recollect  the  distance  now,  I  met  John  D. 
Lee.  It  was  about  dark;  he  was  coming  toward  Cedar.  He 
asked  us  what  the  calculation  of  the  people  was  in  regard  to 
those  emigrants — in  regard  to  letting  them  pass. 

Did  he  ask  you  where  you  were  going?  I  don't  recollect.  I 
told  him — we  both  told  him,  but  I  told  him  in  particular — the 
conclusion  was  to  let  them  pass,  and  that  I  was  going  to  Pinto 
with  a  letter  to  that  effect,  to  have  the  Indians  pacified  as  much 
as  possible,  to  let  them  pass.  Mr.  Lee  spoke  up  and  said,  "  I 
don't  know  about  that,"  or,  "  I  have  something  to  do  about 
that,"  I  don't  exactly  recollect  the  words,  and  drove  on. 


Where  were  the  emigrants  at  that  time  ?  They  were  camped 
on  a  little  stream  in  the  mountains,  betwen  Cedar  City  and  Pinto, 
just  off  the  road.  We  saw  them  indistinctly  as  we  passed  them 
in  the  night,  but  as  we  came  back  next  day  we  met  them  on  the 

What  place  was  that?  Iron  Springs.  A  very  little  spring,  I 
hardly  remember  the  locality. 

The  emigrants  hadn't  yet  reached  Pinto?  No,  sir,  because 
we  met  them.  The  first  time  I  had  ever  seen  them  I  saw  them 
coming  up  along  there. 

Cross-examined — In  which  direction  was  Lee  coming?  He 
was  coming  up  the  road  towards  Cedar  City. 

What  day  was  it?  I  don't  recollect  neither  the  day  of  the 
week  nor  the  month. 

You  say  it  was  about  dark?     It  was  about  dusk  then. 

How  long  WAS  it  before  the  massacre  ?  I  could  not  say  about 
that  for  certain . 

About  how  many  days?  Probably  four  or  five,  may  be  six, 
may  be  not  so  long ;  I  could  not  say. 

You  passed  the  emigrants  then  on  your  way  that  night?  We 
passed,  but  didn't  see  them. 

Who  was  the  man  that  you  were  carrying  the  message  to?  It 
was  the  man  in  charge  of  them  there  in  Pinto  Creek  at  that  time. 
I  can't  recollect  his  name. 

Was  not  his  name  Richard  Robinson?  That  is  my  impression, 
but  I  will  not  be  sure,  as  there  were  several  changes.  There  was 
Rufus  Allen,  Richard  Robinson,  Thornton,  and  different  ones 
that  had  charge  along  about  that  time.  I  can't  recollect,  but  I 
think  it  was  Richard  Robinson. 

When  did  you  move  to  Cedar  City  ?  I  moved  there  in  the 
Fall  of  1853? 

How  long  did  you  live  there?  I  left  there  in  the  Summer  of 
'58.  I  left  there  and  came  to  Beaver,  and  from  there  went 

Where  do  you  reside  now?  I  live  at  what  is  called  Cedar 
Fort,  Cedar  Valley,  in  Utah  County,  five  miles  from  Camp 

You  say  you  passed  by  near  the  emigrants'  camp,  but  didn't 
see  them?  Yes,  sir.  We  saw  them  next  day  on  the  travel. 

You  afterwards  saw  those  emigrants,  I  believe,  at  the 
Meadows?  Yes,  sir,  a  portion  of  them. 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  325 

You  were  present  at  the  Meadows  at  the  time  of  the  massacre? 
Yes,  sir. 

Re-Direct — You  don't  remember  the  day  nor  the  date,  but  on 
your  way  back,  after  delivering  the  message,  you  met  these 
same  emigrants,  and  you  know  they  were  the  Mountain  Meadows 
emigrants?  Yes,  sir. 

Re-Cross-examined — You  know  they  were  the  same  ones  from 
passing  them  and  afterwards  seeing  them  at  the  Meadows 
after  they  were  killed  ?  Klingensmith  was  with  me,  and  he 
had  seen  the  emigrants  when  they  had  passed  through  Cedar 
City,  and  there  were  some  of  the  principal  ones  that  he  pointed 
out  to  me  as  we  passed  by  them. 

Why  did  he  point  them  out  to  you  ?  One  man  that  had  made 
these  threats  that  he  had  helped  kill  Joe  Smith,  and  so  forth. 

Did  you  see  that  same  party  at  the  Meadows  afterwards?  I 
don't  recollect  the  same  party.  I  saw  the  same  band  of  emi- 
grants, I  suppose  at  any  rate  no  others  had  passed. 


Sworn  for  the  prosecution. 

Where  do  you  live  ?     I  live  at  Santa  Clara. 

How  long  have  you  lived  there?  In  the  neighborhood  of 
twenty-two  years. 

Where  did  you  live  in  '57?  I  lived  at  Santa  Clara;  that  was 
my  house.  I  lived  on  the  Mountain  Meadows.  I  was  stopping 
on  the  Mountain  Meadows  that  Summer. 

Will  you  state  how  you  came  up  to  Mountain  Meadows,  and 
how  you  were  situated  there?  My  family  was  sick  at  the  time, 
and  I  moved  my  family  up  on  account  of  the  hot  weather.  I 
was  herding  stock  at  the  Meadows  and  milking  cows. 

Who  was  with  you?  Jake  Hamblin  and  myself  were  proprie- 

Describe  that  locality  to  the  Court  and  Jury  ?  The  location  is 
at  the  north  end  of  what  is  termed  Meadow  Valley. 

How  long  is  the  Meadow  Valley  ?  Four  miles  long,  and  about 
one  mile  wide. 

Is  it  entirely  surrounded  by  mountains  and  hills?  Yes,  sir, 
it  is  entirely  surrounded,  except  a  gap  at  this  end — the  gap 
at  which  Hamblin's  Ranch  was  situated,  and  the  gap  at  the 
other  end  leads  you  out  on  the  desert.  It  has  a  stream  that 
leads  to  the  Santa  Clara  stream. 


On  the  first  of  September,  1857,  you  say  you  were  stopping 
there  with  your  wife,  who  was  out  of  health?  A  few  days  before 
she  had  been  confined,  and  was  lying  nearly  at  the  point  of  death ; 
we  were  living  in  a  wagon-box  by  the  side  of  Jake  Hamblin's 
board  shanty. 

Did  you  about  that  time  go  down  to  your  place  at  Santa 
Clara?  Yes,  sir,  from  Mountain  Meadows.  I  went  down  a  few 
days  previous  to  this  occurrence — this  massacre — to  see  to 
some  business  down  there — about  watering  the  crop  there. 

What  time  did  you  return  ?  It  is  not  in  my  memory,  the  day 
of  the  week. 

With  reference  to  the  general  massacre?  It  was  the  evening 
after  it  had  been  done  in  the  morning — that  is,  the  first  attack. 

I  mean  with  reference  to  the  general  massacre  of  the  women 
and  children?  That  was  nearly  a  week,  I  think. 

You  are  sure  about  that,  are  you?  I  don't  exactly  remember, 
but  it  was  several  days. 

What  do  you  mean  by  the  first  attack,  and  from  whom  did 
you  get  your  information?  What  information  I  got  was  from 
John  D.  Lee. 

State  the  particulars?  As  I  said  before,  I  was  on  my  way 
to  where  I  was  staying  at  the  time  from  my  home  at  Santa  Clara. 
From  the  ranch  to  Santa  Clara  settlement  was  thirty-five  miles. 

How  far  below  the  lower  mountain  of  the  Mountain  Meadows? 
About  ten  miles  to  where  I  met  John  D,  Lee.  I  think  he  had 
on  a  hickory  shirt,  a  straw  hat,  and  home-spun  pants. 

Did  you  have  any  conversation?  Yes,  sir.  As  I  was  riding 
along  he  hailed  me. 

Who  was  with  you?  I  don't  know  that  it  is  proper  for  me  to 

Had  you  up  to  that  time  known  any  thing  about  the  attack  on 
the  emigrants?  No,  sir,  I  had  not. 

Did  you  notice  any  thing  peculiar  about  John  D.  Lee  at  that 
time?  He  showed  me  some  bullet  holes  in  his  clothing,  and  may 
be  one  or  two  in  his  hat. 

State  the  conversation.  All  the  conversation?  You  can  tell 
what  you  recollect.  I  think  he  told  me  that  he  had  made  an 
attack  with  the  Indians,  and  got  repulsed. 

When  did  he  say  he  had  made  it?  I  think  that  morning  at 
daylight,  or  near  daylight. 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  327 

Do  you  know  whether  he  told  you  so  or  not?  I  am  pretty 
positive  he  did. 

Did  he  tell  you  any  thing  about  any  escape  that  he  had  had  ? 
He  said  he  had  run  a  narrow  escape,  showing  me  the  holes  in 
his  hat  and  shirt,  where  he  had  narrowly  escaped  being  shot. 

State  all  the  conversation.  He  rode  along  with  us  up  to  some 
eight  or  ten  miles  of  where  his  camp  was.  When  I  saw  him  it 
was  getting  dusk,  and  we  rode  along  together  as  far  as  the 

Was  he  alone  when  he  met  you?    Yes,  sir,  as  far  as  I  know. 

Did  he  tell  you  whether  any  other  white  man  had  been  with 
him  in  the  attack?  I  am  not  certain.  I  got  the  impression  from 
what  he  told  me  that  there  was  not. 

Did  he  tell  you  from  whom  he  got  the  bullets  through  his 
clothes,  or  not?  I  took  it,  of  course. 

Did  he  say  he  got  it  on  that  assault  on  the  emigrants?  I  can't 
give  the  exact  language. 

What  was  the  substance  of  what  he  told  you  about  it?  I  col- 
lected from  what  he  said  that  he  had  attacked  the  camp  of  these 
emigrants  with  the  Indians,  and  that  in  making  the  attack  he 
received  the  shots  from  the  camp,  that  the  bullets  had  come 
near  to  him,  one  through  his  shirt  and  another  through  his  hat. 

Did  he  say  anything  about  having  a  narrow  escape  ?  I  think 
he  did. 

What  camp  did  he  refer  to?  The  camp  of  the  Mountain 
Meadows  emigrants. 

You  say  he  came  back  part  of  the  way  to  the  Mountain  Meadows  ? 
I  don't  know  but  what  he  went  clear  across  the  Meadows,  I 
am  not  positive.  I  know  he  rode  back  with  me.  He  rode  back 
to  where  the  camp  was,  at  least,  but  whether  he  stopped  there 
or  not  I  will  not  be  positve. 

Did  you  see  him  go  towards  the  Indian  camp  afterwards?  I 
didn't  know  where  the  Indian  camp  was.  It  was  in  the  night. 
He  cauie  to  me  about  dusk.  It  was  eight  or  nine  o'clock  when 
we  got  to  where  the  camp  was  located.  I  went  right  over  to  my 

State  whether  you  noticed  anything  peculiar  about  Mr.  Lee's 
person,  aside  from  his  dress.  No,  nothing  more  than  what  I 
have  stated. 

State  whether  he  had  any  paint  on  him.  I  didn't  notice  any. 
It  was  between  sundown  and  daylight.  It  was  nearly  dusk  when 


I  first  saw  him.  We  hadn't  talked  but  a  few  minutes,  when  it 
was  dark. 

How  long  a  time  passed  until  the  general  massacre?  Some 
five  or  six  days. 

Did  you  remain  there  with  your  wife  during  all  that  time? 
Yes,  sir,  with  the  exception  of  being  out  after  my  stock  once  or 

Had  you  anything  to  do  with  Lee,  or  see  him  after  that  time  ? 
He  was  over  at  Hamblin's  ranch  a  few  times. 

What  was  he  there  for?     I  don't  know. 

Did  he  come  alone  ?  He  was  there  with  other  men,  but  how 
he  came  I  don't  know. 

Did  he  at  any  time  come  to  you  to  get  your  teams  ?     Yes,  sir. 

What  day  was  that  with  reference  to  the  massacre  of  the  men, 
women  and  children?  It  was  the  d-ay  it  was  done. 

What  time?  I  think  it  was  a  little  before  12  o'clock,  the 
middle  of  the  day. 

Who  came  with  him?     I  think  it  was  Klingensmith. 

Where  were  you,  and  what  were  you  doing  ?  I  was  at  home 
waiting  upon  my  sick  wife,  who  was  there  in  the  wagon,  and 
doing  chores  necessary  to  be  done  about  home. 

State  the  conversation  that  took  place  between  you  and  Lee, 
or  you  and  Klingensmith,  in  the  presence  of  Lee,  about  what 
they  came  for?  They  told  me  they  came  to  get  my  team  and 
wagon  to  go  over  and  haul  away  the  sick  and  wounded  from 
the  train,  and  take  them  back  to  the  settlements  where  they 
could  care  for  them,  as  wagons  were  scarce.  I  didn't  consent 
at  first,  I  told  them  that  I  didn't  want  to  go,  that  my  family 
needed  my  presence  at  home.  They  insisted  that  I  should  go 
and  said  that  duty  called  me  to  go.  I  said. if  the  team  went  I 
should  go  myself  with  it.  My  team  was  a  young  team  and  had 
just  been  broke  a  few  days,  and  the  horses  were  fractious. 

From  that  point  what  was  done?  Well,  I  went  over.  I  hitch- 
ed up  my  team  and  went  over.  Went  with  a  common  lumber 
wagon  and  box  on  it. 

Did  you  leave  your  wife  there?    Yes,  sir. 

Where  did  you  go?  I  went  right  on  to  the  Mountain  Mead- 
ows, right  on  to  the  south  end  of  the  Mountain  Meadows,  or 
near  there.  I  drove  up  to  a  camp  of  Indians  and  men  camped 
somewhere  to  the  left  of  the  road,  probably  half  a  mile,  may  be 
rot  so  far,  at  a  little  spring  to  the  left  of  the  road,  and  waited 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  329 

there  a  little  while.  I  stopped  some  four  or  five  rods  from  this 
camp  and  stood  by  ray  team  until  I  was  told  to  drive  down  to- 
wards the  camp. 

Who  told  you?     It  is  not  in  my  memory. 

Did  you  drive  down  towards  the  camp  ?     I  did. 

What  camp?     The  emigrant  camp. 

Did  any  other  conveyance  go  down  at  the  same  time  ?  Yes, 
fiir,  another  wagon,  I  went  behind  it. 

Did  you  see  Lee  there  ?    Yes,  sir. 

Tell  what  he  did  from  the  first  time  you  saw  him  that  morning 
on  that  particular  piece  of  ground?  I  don't  know  what  he  did 
all  the  time.  While  I  was  waiting  at  the  camp  I  don't  know 
that  I  saw  him  while  I  was  there. 

How  far  was  that  from  the  emigrants  ?  I  think  nearly  half  a 

Did  you  see  anybody  go  to  that  emigrant  camp?  No,  sir.  I 
saw  a  man  carrying  a  white  flag. 

Who  was  that  man  ?     I  could  not  tell. 

Was  anybody  with  him?  Yes,  sir,  I  think  John  D.  Lee  was 
with  him,  or  near  him,  and  walked  down  to  the  camp. 

What  occurred  there?  They  walked  with  this  white  flag  near 
the  camp,  and  another  man  met  them  with  a  white  rag  on  a  stick. 
He  came  from  the  emigrant  camp,  and  they  met  some  distance 
from  the  camp,  and  held  a  consultation  for  a  few  minutes,  and 
then  we  were  told  to  drive  along,  or  motioned  to. 

Did  any  other  man  besides  this  man  and  John  D.  Lee  go? 
Not  any  distance.  I  don't  remember  that  they  did. 

Who  held  that  consultation?  I  was  not  acquainted  with  them, 
and  was  some  distance  from  them,  but  I  think  it  was  John  D. 
Lee,  the  man  that  carried  the  flag,  and  one  or  two  who  came 
from  the  emigrant  camp. 

Who  motioned  for  you  to  go  along  after  the  consultation  ?  I 
can't  tell,  but  the  whole  fraternity  up  there  moved  along  with 
the  wagons. 

When  you  got  down  to  the  camp  what  occurred?  My  wagon 
was  loaded  with  some  guns,  some  bedding,  and  a  few  individuals. 

Who  superintended  that  loading  up?     John  D.  Lee. 

What  guns  were  loaded  into  your  wagons?  The  guns  from 
the  emigrant  camp. 

When  the  emigrants  came  out  afterwards,  were  they  armed  or 
not?  They  were  not;  not  that  I  saw. 


What  did  they  load  into  your  wagon?  Guns,  bedding,  and 
some  clothing  of  different  kinds,  and  several  persons  got  in.  I 
think  three  or  four  got  in. 

What  were  those  persons?  As  near  as  I  can  recollect,  there 
were  two  men,  one  woman,  and,  I  think,  some  children. 

State  whether  those  men  were  wounded  then,  sick  men,  or 
what?  I  think  they  were  wounded,  but  I  stood  holding  my  team. 

State  whether  it  was  quite  necessary  for  you  to  give  all  your 
attention  to  your  team  ?  I  considered  it  so. 

Then  what  occurred  ?  After  they  were  loaded  in  we  were  told 
to  drive  on  towards  home. 

By  whom?    I  can't  recollect. 

Did  you  drive  along?     We  did. 

Do  you  know  what  was  put  into  the  other  wagon  ?  Mostly 

Were  both  those  wagons  loaded  from  the  emigrant  camp? 
Yes,  sir.  I  started  towards  my  home,  north  across  the  Mead- 
ows, lengthwise  of  the  Meadows.  It  led  to  the  north. 

After  you  started,  how  close  did  the  other  wagon  follow?  I 
followed  it ;  it  went  ahead. 

What  followed  you  ?  The  men,  women  and  children ;  coming 
along  after  we  drove  out  a  little  ways. 

Did  you  understand,  from  what  you  saw  there,  that  the  emi- 
grants vacated  that  camp  and  followed  you?  I  did,  sir. 

As  you  passed  along,  did  you  go  with  them,  or  did  you  go 
faster?  We  traveled  a  little  faster. 

How  far  in  advance  of  them  did  you  get?  I  think  we  got, 
may  be,  a  quarter  of  a  mile.  It  might  not  have  been  that  far, 
but  quite  a  little  distance. 

What  order  did  those  emigrants  march  in,  whether  single  filer 
two  abreast,  or  how?  I  could  not  give  any  testimony  on  that. 
I  did  not  look  back  to  see. 

Who  accompanied  you  with  your  wagon,  who  came  along?  I 
remember  John  D.  Lee  being  along  with  the  wagons. 

Ahead  of  the  emigrants?     Yes,  sir. 

Did  anything  occur  after  you  had  got  up  to  the  point  desig- 
nated as,  perhaps,  a  quarter  of  a  mile  ahead  of  those  emigrants  ? 
The  first  thing  that  I  heard  had  occurred.  I  heard  a  gun  fired. 

Where  was  that  gun?  I  don't  know  the  locality  exactly.  It 
was  behind  me. 

TEIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  331 

Was  it  near  you,  or  down  where  the  emigrants  were  ?  It  was 

How  far  behind  you?  I  should  judge  nearly  a  quarter  of  a 
mile,  the  first  gun  I  heard. 

What  occurred  then?  I  looked  around  and  saw  the  Indians 
rising  up  from  behind  the  brush,  and  went  to  butchering  these 

Did  you  see  anything  of  them?  I  didn't  see  anything  of  the 

Did  you  see  any  of  those  emigrants  in  your  wagon  interfered 
•with?  No,  sir;  not  after  I  heard  the  first  sound  of  the  gun.  I 
leaped  from  my  wagon  to  see  to  my  team. 

Did  you  see  John  D.  Lee  do  anything  to  any  of  those  emi- 
grants? I  saw  John  D.  Lee  raise  something  in  the  act  of  striking 
a  person — I  think  it  was  a  woman.  I  saw  that  person  fall,  but 
my  attention  was  attracted  at  the  same  time  to  my  team  jumping 
and  lunging. 

What  became  of  that  woman?    I  could  not  say. 

Will  you  state  to  the  jury  the  manner  of  that  striking?  Well, 
as  near  as  I  can  recollect  it,  it  was  done  as  though  he  had  a  club 
or  gun  in  his  hands,  but  which  of  the  two  I  cannot  tell.  She 
was  falling  when  I  first  saw  her.  When  I  turned  my  eyes  away 
she  was  falling. 

You  know  he  struck  that  woman  ?    Yes,  sir. 

Either  with  a  gun  or  with  a  club  ?     Yes,  sir. 

Your  team,  }TOU  say,  became  very  fractious.  Is  that  all  you 
saw  John  D.  Lee  do?  That  is  all  I  could  be  positive  about. 

What  was  he  doing  besides  that?  I  could  not  be  positive 
what  he  was  doing  all  the  time?  State  whether  all  of  those 
people  were  killed  there  and  then?  They  were;  those  in  the 
wagon  were  all  killed. 

Was  it  in  your  wagon  or  the  one  behind  you  that  John  D.  Lee 
struck  that  woman  ?  It  was  in  the  one  ahead  of  me. 

Was  that  woman  killed?  I  think  she  was.  They  were  all 

How  many  cattle  had  this  emigrant  train?  I  don't  know,  sir. 
Should  judge  three  or  four  hundred  head. 

Do  you  know  who  drove  these  cattle  away  from  that  ground  ? 
No,  sir ;  I  do  not. 

Do  you  know  whose  men  drove  them  off"?  No,  sir ;  only  by 
report — by  rumor. 


Did  you  see  Lee  drive  any  of  them  ?     No,  sir ;  I  did  not. 

Did  you  hear  him  say  anything  about  it?     I  did  not. 

Did  Lee  remain  there  until  all  in  the  wagons  were  killed?     I  - 
think  he  did. 

Where  did  you  go  then?     I  drove  immediately  home. 

Which  way  did  Lee  go?  I  don't  know — he  was  on  the  ground 
when  I  left. 

Do  you  know  the  names  of  any  of  those  parties  who  were 
killed  there  ?  No,  sir ;  I  do  not. 

Cross-Examined — How  many  people  were  present  around  the 
wagons  when  you  say  you  saw  Lee  strike  the  woman?  I  don't 
know  how  many. 

Were  there  any  others  there  except  Lee  and  yourself?  I 
bave  an  impression  that  there  were,  but  I  don't  know  who  they 
were.  I  have  always  had  an  idea  that  there  were  one  or  two 
more  men. 

Don't  you  know,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  that  there  were?  Yes, 
sir ;  there  was  another  man  that  drove  the  other  wagon,  but  how 
many  more  I  don't  know. 

You  don't  know  the  names  of  the  men?  Not  that  I  recollect  of. 

Were  any  Indians  around  there  ?     Yes,  sir. 

Any  around  the  wagons?     Yes,  sir. 

Did  you  see  them  take  any  part  in  the  killing?  Yes,  sir; 
they  took  some  part  in  the  killing.  There  were  not  more  than 
one  or  two  men  there,  John  D.  Lee  and  the  men  that  drove  the 

How  many  Indians?     I  can't  tell. 

Isn't  it  a  matter  of  fact  that  about  that  time  you  wanted  to 
get  away  from  there,  and  to  see  as  little  as  possible?  I  paid 
just  as  little  attention  as  I  possibly  could. 

Didn't  you  make  an  effort  to  see  as  little  of  it  as  you  could? 
I  did,  sir. 

That  explains  why  you  did  not  see  all  of  it  ?  Yes,  sir,  I  took 
all  the  pains  I  could  to  see  as  little  as  I  could. 

Did  not  the  Indians  raise  a  yell,  and  make  a  rush  for  the  wagon 
before  you  jumped  out?  Yes,  sir,  or  about  that  time. 

Were  they  not  surrounding  the  wagons  at  the  time  you  saw 
Lee  strike?     Yes,  sir. 

There  were  Indians  all  around  and  close  to  you  at  the  time? 
Yes,  sir,  there  were  Indians  all  round ;  quite  a  number  all  round 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  333 

Did  they  rush  toward  the  people  in  the  wagons  with  hostile 
intentions?  Yes,  sir,  with  apparently  hostile  intentions. 

You  saw  them  kill  a  number  of  people — didn't  they  kill  that 
woman?  It  was  my  impression  that  John  D.  Lee  killed  her. 

Do  you  know?     Yes,  sir,  I  do. 

Did  you  see  him  do  anything  else  except  strike  ?     No,  sir. 

That  much  you  did  see  ?    Yes,  sir,  I  did. 

Who  was  that  man  with  you  at  the  Meadows,  the  first  time 
you  saw  John  D.  Lee,  the  night  after  the  first  attack?  I  decline 
to  tell. 

Re-Direct — State  where  those  cattle  of  the  emigrants  were  at 
the  time  of  the  massacre.  They  were  north  a  little ;  up  this 

How  soon  after  that  were  they  driven  away?  I  think  next 

Do  you  know  whose  men  drove  them  away?    I  do  not. 

Were  the  emigrants'  wagons  destroyed  there  on  the  ground, 
or  were  they  taken  away?  I  don't  know.  They  passed  along. 

Was  the  field  cleared  of  the  emigrant  property?  Yes,  sir,, 
cattle  and  everything. 

Were  any  wagons  burned  or  destroyed?  No,  sir,  not  that  I 
know  of. 

How  long  did  you  stay  there  after  that?     Nearly  a  month. 


Sworn  for  the  prosecution. 

Where  do  you  live  now?    I  live  in  Cache  County,  Paradise. 

Did  you  live  in  any  other  place  than  Paradise  in  1857?  I 
lived  at  Cedar  City.  I  don't  recollect  dates.  Did  you  live  there 
at  the  time  of  the  Mountain  Meadows  Massacre?  Yes,  sir. 

State  whether  you  were  called  upon  to  go  to  Mountain 
Meadows?  I  was  called  upon  to  go  and  take  my  team  and 

By  whom  ?     I  believe  it  was  John  M.  Higbee  that  called  me. 

State  from  that  point  the  circumstances?  I  was  threshing  my 
grain.  I  had  my  grain  spread  out  in  the  yard,  and  was  tramp- 
ing it  with  horses  at  the  time  I  was  called  upon.  I  was  notified 
to  leave  in  two  hours'  notice.  It  was  sometime  in  the  afternoon 
that  I  was  called  upon. 

Of  what  day?     I  could  not  state. 

With  reference  to  the  date  of  the  general  massacre  ?     I  think 


it  was  a  day  prior  to  it.  Was  it  stated  to  you  for  -what  pur- 
pose you  were  to  go  there?  No,  sir. 

Did  you  know?     No,  sir. 

Did  you  go?     Yes,  sir. 

Who  went  with  jrou?  There  were  a  number  that  went  in  the 
wagon  with  me.  Some  I  can  recollect,  Klingensrnith  for  one, 
a  man  by  the  name  of  Hopkins,  and  two  or  three  more  besides 
that  went  during  the  time  that  I  went  down,  I  understood  from 
the  men  that  were  in  the  wagon.  I  asked  them  what  was  the 
matter.  They  told  me  that  the  emigrants  had  been  attacked, 
and  we  had  to  go  down  and  arrest  the  attack,  if  possible.  That 
was  the  purpose  that  I  expected  to  go  for — was  to  preserve  the 
emigrants  from  the  Indians. 

What  time  did  you  get  there  ?  It  was  in  the  afternoon  when 
we  started — late!  It  must  have  been  way  in  the  night  when  we 
got  there.  I  could  not  tell  you  the  time.  We  traveled  a  good 
many  hours  in  the  night.  Got  there  and  turned  out  the  horses 
and  camped. 

Did  you  stay  until  morning?  Yes,  sir;  staid  there  till  morn- 
ing, and  during  the  next  day  I  got  up  my  horses. 

Anybody  give  you  orders  ?     Yes,  sir. 

Who?  John  D.  Lee.  He  told  me  to  take  the  wagon  and  fol- 
low him  to  camp. 

What  camp?     The  camp  of  the  emigrants. 

The  emigrants  that  were  afterwards  killed?     Yes,  sir. 

Did  you  go?    I  did. 

State  what  you  saw.  I  went  with  him  to  camp,  and  there  was 
another  wagon,  if  I  recollect  right.  The  man  that  drove  the 
wagon  was  a  stranger  to  me.  I  never  saw  him  before.  When 
we  got  within  a  short  distance  of  the  camp  there  was  a  man  with 
a  flag  of  truce  sent  out. 

Who  was  that  man?     His  name  was  Mr.  Bateman. 

Where  is  he?     Dead. 

Where  was  he  sent  from  ?  Sent  from  where  we  stood  with  the 

Who  went  with  him  ?  John  D.  Lee  followed  immediately  af- 

What  occurred  ?  A  man  came  out  from  the  camp  and  had  an 
interview  with  John  D.  Lee. 

What  was  the  substance  of  that  conversation?  I  was  too  far 
off  to  tell.  I  saw  Lee  and  this  man  talking. 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  335 

Did  you  hear  any  of  the  talking  ?  Not  any  that  I  could  dis- 

After  they  talked  what  was  done?  After  they  talked  they 
seemed  to  come  to  an  understanding,  ten,  fifteen  or  twenty  min- 
utes, then  Lee  ordered  us  to  drive  up  the  wagons.  We  drove 
up  the  wagons.  The  emigrants,  assisted  by  Lee,  loaded  the 
wagons.  My  wagon  was  loaded  with  some  bedding,  some  truck  of 
different  kinds,  belonging  to  the  people  that  got  in.  Some  would 
have  their  things  with  them,  as  if  they  were  going  a  journey. 
A  number  got  in,  men,  women  and  children,  from  the  emigrant 
camp,  some  of  them  apparently  wounded.  I  could  not  say  how 
many,  it  is  so  long  ago.  I  never  charged  my  memory  with  it.  I 
could  not  state  how  many  there  were. 

Go  on.  We  were  ordered  to  start  out  by  John  D.  Lee,  and 
we  started  out  from  that  place. 

State  whether  the  other  wagon  was  loaded  also  ?     It  was. 

Were  there  any  guns  put  into  either  wagon  ?  There  were  not 
in  mine. 

Did  you  at  any  time  leave  your  team?    No,  sir. 

When  John  D.  Lee  directed  you  to  drive,  what  took  place? 
We  proceeded  some  distance  on  the  Meadows.  Mine  was  the 
head  team. 

Who  accompanied  you?  John  D.  Lee  was  walking  behind  the 
wagon,  between  the  two  wagons. 

By  the  Court — Were  there  any  persons  in  those  two  wagons? 
Yes,  sir.  They  were  loaded  up  with  persons  and  things. 

Were  both  of  those  wagons  loaded  with  men,  women  and  chil- 
dren from  that  camp  of  emigrants?  Yes,  sir,  and  other  things 

How  many  got  into  your  wagon  ?  I  could  not  say.  It  is  im- 
possible for  me  to  tell.  I  should  think  half  a  dozen. 

What  were  they — men  and  women  ;  any  children  in  your's?  I 
think  there  were  some  small  children. 

And  as  you  started  on  you  saw  Lee  take  a  position  between 
the  two  wagons  and  walk  on  behind  you?  Yes,  sir. 

How  far  behind  you?  I  could  not  tell  you.  I  had  as  much 
as  I  could  do  to  attend  to  my  team.  We  must  have  been  quite 
a  little  distance  ahead  of  the  other  team.  My  team  was  a  very 
fast  walking  team.  Lee  checked  me  up  several  times.  I  had  to 
hold  on  to  the  lines. 

Did  he  give  you  any  reasons  for  it?     No,  sir.     I  out- walked 


him.  We  walked  very  fast.  How  many  times  did  he  tell  you 
not  to  walk  so  fast?  Several  times. 

By  Howard — What  occurred  from  that  point?  He  called  to- 
me to  halt  after  we  got  out  of  sight  of  the  camp. 

Who  did?  John  D.  Lee.  When  we  got  out  of  sight,  over  the 
hill,  there  is  where  we  passed  out  of  sight  of  everything.  There 
is  a  rising  ground  there.  We  were  this  side  of  it,  and  everything 
back  towards  the  emigrants  was  out  of  sight.  When  we  got  to 
this  place  Lee  ordered  me  to  halt.  At  that  instant  I  heard  the 
sound  of  a  gun.  I  turned  and  looked  over  my  shoulder,  and 
Lee  had  his  gun  to  his  shoulder,  and  when  the  gun  had  exploded 
I  saw,  I  think  it  was  a  woman,  fall  backwards.  I  had  to  'tend  to- 
my  team  at  the  time. 

Who  discharged  that  gun?  John  D.  Lee  must  have  dis- 
charged it. 

Did  he  hold  it  in  his  hand?  Yes,  sir.  He  must  have  hit  her 
in  the  back  of  the  head.  She  fell  immediately. 

Go  on.  I  turned  round.  It  seemed  to  me  like  I  heard  sounds 
of  striking  with  a  heavy  instrument,  like  a  gun  would  make, 
but  I  never  saw  any  striking  done.  But  I  turned  round  to  the 
other  side  a  few  minutes  afterwards,  and  saw  Lee  draw  his  pis- 
tol and  shoot  from  two  to  three  in  the  head  of  those  who  were  in 
the  wagon. 

Did  he  kill  them?     He  must  have  killed  them. 

What  were  those  he  shot — men,  women  or  children?  Men 
and  women. 

And  they  fell  off  underneath  the  wagon,  then  and  there  ?  I 
could  not  say  then  and  there.  They  must  have  been  all  killed. 

Did  you  go  back  at  all?     No,  sir. 

Never  wanted  to  go  back?     No,  sir — never. 

Who  fired  the  first  gun — which  was  the  first  gun  fired  ?  It 
would  be  impossible  for  me  to  tell.  The  first  gun  I  heard  was- 
the  first  gun  fired  right  at  the  back  of  me  that  attracted  my  at- 

You  looked  around  and  saw  the  gun  in  Lee's  hands?  Yes, 
sir ;  that  was  the  first  gun  I  heard. 

Were  there  immediately  volleys  of  firing  ?  Yes,  sir ;  I  heard 
firing  immediately  afterwards. 

Was  that  the  signal  to  begin  firing?  Yes,  sir,  that  was  the 

TRIAL  OF  JOHN  D.  LEE.  337 

How  long  after  Lee  told  you  to  halt  was  that  firing  ?  It  was 
instantly  done. 

And  you  looked  around  and  saw  the  gun  ?     Yes,  sir. 

Cross  Examined — You  say  that  you  got  your  orders  from 
Higbee  to  go  down  there  ?  I  believe  it  was  from  Higbee,  but  I 
am  not  sure.  I  am  almost  positive  it  was  from  him. 

Did  Higbee  go  with  you  ?     I  don't  recollect. 

Where  did  you  camp  that  night?     On  the  Meadows. 

How  many  men  were  there  ?     I  could  not  say. 

About  how  many  men  were  there?  I  cou